Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

 Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: Paul Weitz/Brian Helgeland
Based on the Novel by:
Darren Shan
Producers: Lauren Shuler Donner/Paul Weitz/Ewan Leslie/Andrew Miano
Starring: John C. Reilly/Willem Dafoe/Chris Massoglia
Year: 2009
Country: US
BBFC Certification: 12a
Duration: 109 minutes

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is the latest book series to get the Hollywood treatment, it’s just been released on DVD but the question is: Which vampire movie is better- The Vampire’s Assistant or Twilight? Somehow I don’t think we’ll need Harry Hill to find out. Drawn to the dark, unpredictable world of the Cirque, 16-year-old Darren decides to trade in his ordinary life for a chance to become an immortal vampire. As Darren explores his newfound powers and faces unexpected enemies, he’ll find that his existence as a member of the undead is filled with more challenges, suspense and fun than he ever thought possible. I haven’t read the book series written by Darren Shan (the character in the movie shares the same name as the author) so I can’t compare them so this review is from a guy who has just watched the movie and the movie only. I really enjoyed watching this movie but those who want to watch it should be warned that this is blatantly a set up for a sequel. I also understand that each freak in the books have their own story which isn’t shown in this movie so I can’t wait to see what their stories are. The main story is a great idea and the direction of the movie is quite dark but it works with the movie making it look triumphant.

The acting was very good but the actor who shone throughout with his brilliant performance as good vampire Mr. Crepsley was John C. Reilly as his mood matched the movie; funny yet dark. The special effects were stunning especially the work on Octa the Spider and Harkat. The characters were likeable moving onto loveable except for the villain Mr. Tiny, he could be annoying at times and it felt like he was just randomly placed.

The timing for the scenes were executed fluently and it went very well until the end of the movie for two reasons. The first reason is that the ending didn’t feel like an ending, it just felt like there was a big fight and then massive hints that there would be a sequel. The second reason was because you wanted to know a little more about the characters and their story because they were interesting (but I’m guessing that you will in the sequel). The music very much set the mood for the movie and helped quite a bit in some scenes. Overall, I would say see this as you would kick yourself if you missed this. It’s a great movie but it’s just a run-up to the sequel. If I had to choose whether to watch The Vampire’s Assistant or Twilight, I would pick this hands-down every time.



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