The Reel

Reel Movie Reviews for Real People.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant – Movie Review

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Starring: John C. Reilly, Chris Massoglia, Josh Hutcherson, Ken Wantanabe
Directed by Paul Weitz

Rated PG-13
Run Time: 108 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy / Horror / Thriller
4 frames out of 5

Think back to when you were 16 years old – where did you see your life going? College, get a job and then have a family like most people do, right? That is what society, most figures of authority, tell us but there are those individuals who feel that they are destined to do something different, something amazing.

Darren Shaw (Chris Massoglia) is a normal 16 year –old-boy. He gets good grades, has a family that loves him, and gets along with his peers. His best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson) leads a different kind of life – he comes from a broken home, constantly in trouble and is obsessed with vampires. Darren has an equally unusual obsession, his with spiders.

Steve is always trying Darren to break from his goody-two shoe ways and live a little. When a harmless school vandalism stunt gets them caught, Darren’s parents forbid him to be friends with Steve. Darren tries to get Steve to understand but letting him know that they have to be secret friends if they are to continue their relationship. As they are sorting out the details, a mysterious car rolls up, tosses out a leaflet and drives away. The advertisement is for a show that night- Cirque du Freak. Both boys are game to go but the authority figures warn them to stay far away. So what do they do? Go to the show, of course.

The show that night is held in an abandoned theater, appropriate for the nature of the show. The ring leader, Mr. Tall (Ken Wantanabe) introduces the stars of the show, the Wolfman; Alexander Ribs (Orlando Jones) who’s skeletal mid section is for all to revel in; Corma Limbs (Jane Krakowski) who’s limbs grow back instantiously when severed, Evra the Snake Boy (Patrick Fugit); the man with 2 stomachs Rhamus Twobellies (Frankie Faison) and no freak show would be complete without The Bearded Lady, Madame Truska (Salma Hayek). The main attraction of the show is a mysterious man named Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) and his pet spider Octa. Both boys are transfixed on this man, each for their own reasons. Steve recognizes Crepsly from his vampire books and calls him out on it. Before anything good can happen, the townspeople break up the show. Before leaving, Darren runs down to Crepsly’s dressing room and steals Octa trying not to get caught. Crepsly walks in before he can escape and Steve barges in and begs him to make him a vampire. Crepsly refuses and orders him away. Steve vows revenge and leaves. Needless to say, each boy’s choices have set them each on their own path and their relationship will never be the same.

When Steve’s life hangs by a thread, Darren seeks out Crepsly for his help. The only way that he will save his friend’s life is if he fakes his death and becomes his assistant. Thus, the Vampire’s Assistant is born and unlike the other vampire books out there, he does not sparkle in the sunlight and he’s still half human.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampires Assistant is a fun movie. Based on the series of books by Darren Shan, it is a darkly funny, sarcastic twist on a vampire movie.

Things to watch for: Pretty cool graphics and special effects. Twilight fans will be happy because some of the traits of vampires in the books are similar to the traits in this movie minus the sparkly vampires.

Who should see this movie: People that want to see a Halloween-ish movie that is not gory or terrifying. Kids over the age of 8 due to language and some theme content. Fans of Goosebumps, Fans of the Vampire Blood Series

See it in the Theater or Rent it: For those not into the really scary movies like Saw or Paranormal Activity, this is a great one to bring the kids to for a Halloween movie. Definitely worth seeing in the theater and adding to your DVD library.


October 23, 2009 - Posted by | entertainment news, film reviews, Movie Review, movies, new in theaters, now playing, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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