Cirque de Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
Based on the series of teenage adventure horror fiction by Darren Shan, The Vampire’s Assistant is a tale of how 16-year-old Darren (Massoglia) was like most kids in his suburban neighbourhood until he and his best friend Steve (Hutcherson) stumble upon a travelling freak show; things begin to change inside Darren. After being caught stealing something from one of the freak show’s main attractions Crepsley (Reilly), Darren must do a deal in order to save the life of his friend and join the Cirque Du Freak.
The Cirque Du Freak is a touring sideshow filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures from a snake-boy, a wolf-man to a bearded lady (Hayek) and a gigantic barker (Watanabe).
Now even though the storyline didn’t really flow at a decent pace and John C Reilly’s performance of Crepsely the Vampire was somewhat stilted and dull, the visual effects were solid to help create this intriguing freak show that at times subtly drew you to the edge of your seat. Part of me wishes that this could have been more of simple movie about a freak show rather than that of two teenage boys stumbling on it. (Of course that thought comes from one who has not read the books and cares more for a good movie rather than accuracy of the adaptation.)
In regards to the plot there is a very slow build up to the big battle scene which seems to be over as soon as it begins, leaving the viewer with the thought that this movie was more about building a franchise than actually being entertaining. Of course I will point out that it wasn’t a horrible movie, after all it still generally kept me awake and interested in finding out what would happen. It’s more that it promised a lot more than it actually delivered and left me feeling somewhat dissatisfied.
Reviewed by: Jon E Clist
Releases: 7th January 2010
Rating: M Contains Fantasy Violence
Running time: 104 minutes
Genre: Fantasy adventure
Starring: John C Reilly, Josh Hutcherson, Salma Hayek & Willem Dafoe
Director: Paul Weitz