Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan, is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.--©Official Site 2.3 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Family / Children
Director Paul Weitz
Cast Salma Hayek, Willem Dafoe, Chris Massoglia John C. Reilly
Studio Universal Pictures UK
Release Date October 2009
Running Time 108 mins
 

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan, is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.--©Official Site

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Reviews

The Observer

Philip French

Based on a series of books by Darren Shan, it's infinitely more inventive than the sweetly romantic Twilight books aimed at the vulnerable jugulars of teenage girls and clearly intended to launch a new cinematic franchise. It is, however, a rather muddled affair redeemed by striking performances from John C Reilly, Michael Cerveris and the imposing Ken Watanabe.

25/10/2009

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

It’s very energetic, but a more relaxed sequel, in which everyone has fun, might be a big improvement.

22/10/2008

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

Messy but energetic...

25/10/2009

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Total Film

Tony Horkins

...lavish but uneven....

22/10/2009

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The New York Times

A.O. Scott

This frenetic, bumpy movie enters a crowded marketplace of book-based, youth-oriented fantasy entertainment and perhaps inevitably calls to mind some of its competitors, from the unstoppable (and soon to be concluded) Harry Potter series to, most obviously, the “Twilight” franchise.

23/10/2009

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Channel 4 Film

Jon Fortgang

Made, one imagines, with a keen eye on the success of JK Rowling and Catherine Hardwicke, the nagging suspicion is that Cirque Du Freak's principle influence is 'How To Construct A Foolproof Screenplay'. In which case the filmmakers were working from an edition missing the chapters headed 'Soul', 'Storytelling' and 'Recruiting An Enthusiastic Teenage Lead Who Doesn't Look Like He Wishes He Was In Twilight Instead'.

26/10/2009

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

The Vampire's Assistant is stuffed with ancient prophecies, strained friendships, opposing supernatural factions and a big top full of unused characters, but all that actually happens is that a teenage boy (Chris Massoglia) joins a travelling circus and becomes the undead protégé of a 200-year-old vampire (John C Reilly). He doesn't go on any adventures or rise to any challenges, so watching the film is a bit like listening to the rules of football and then being sent back to the changing room before kick-off.

25/10/2009

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The Mirror

Mark Adams

Based on the first three books in British author Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak series, this stylish tale of teen terror is impressive but unsatisfying.

18/10/2009

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The Financial Times

Leo Robson

Cirque du Freak is based on a series of children’s books – The Saga of Darren Shan – and features performances from accomplished actors (John C. Reilly, Salma Hayek, Willem Dafoe) who should fire their agents. Colin was made by a gang of unknowns in South London at roughly a millionth of the cost – £45 to the American film’s $70m. Which goes to show that there is both a cheap and a costly way of making a dismal vampire film.

21/10/2009

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The Times

David Hayles

A lively, beautifully designed title sequence promises much; what follows is stultifying and strangely flat.

24/10/2009

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Variety

Peter Debruge

"The Vampire's Assistant" shows all the signs of being reworked into oblivion, with dead-end narrative threads and characters who disappear from its sprawling, unwieldy ensemble (including Salma Hayek, Patrick Fugit, Willem Dafoe and half a dozen others). Weitz has clearly taken on more than he can handle here, and the nuanced attention to character evident in "About a Boy" and "In Good Company" is the first thing to suffer.

27/09/2009

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The Times

Toby Young

So convinced is Weitz that his film is going to spawn a dozen sequels that he spends most of his time setting up the characters and their relationships. He appears to have overlooked the fact that unless Cirque du Freak is entertaining in its own right the franchise will be stillborn.

23/10/2009

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

Shoddily structured, boring, and featuring the drippiest teen lead this side of the Jonas brothers, it seems designed for junior fanboys who still wet the bed. They're welcome to it.

23/10/2009

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