Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009) Poster

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Well done (coming from a fan of the books!)
Joejoesan12 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
As a big fan of the vampire books by Irish writer Darren Shan I wasn't particularly looking forward to seeing Cirque du Freak: A vampire's assistant. Sometimes you should let a book be a book. And judging by the movie trailers the casting looked all wrong and the main character seemed too boring and too American to my taste. But in the end curiosity won and I went to see it anyway.

The vampire saga of Darren Shan consists of 12 books (four trilogies) and aims at kids aged 11-14. None other than JK Rowling was a big fan of this series so comparisons to Harry Potter were made very soon. What the two series have in common is the scope of the story. The tale of Darren Shan also has a Voldemort and a big (but very misty) showdown (in the last book). Like Harry Potter Darren Shan is drawn into a mysterious but exciting new world. Both teenagers must learn to control their power and learn the ways of being a new sort of being (wizard or vampire). So obviously there is a connection.

The movie is loosely based on the first trilogy, Vampire Blood. Darren Shan is an ordinary 16 year old teenager with a big fascination for spiders. One day he and his best friend Steve go to a real freakshow, where they meet vampire Larten Crepsley. Steve wants to become a vampire because his life stinks anyway. But Crepsley decides to chose Darren as his vampire student. So Darren fakes his death and moves to the camping ground of the Cirque du Freak. He befriends a snake boy, a monkey girl and a woman with a beard and tries to go on with his (vampire) life. But he soon finds out that the vampire world is on the brink of a full scale war between vampires (the kind that only drinks human blood and takes what it needs) and the Vampaneze (vampires who kill the humans they drink from). And somehow both parties think that Darren is destined to play a big part in this war…

Watching this movie I tried to forget all the things I knew from the books. And yes, this movie experience turned out to be a very enjoyable one.

Chris Massoglia (The Hole) looked miscast at first as Darren Shan. But as the story progresses you can see why he was chosen. His innocence works very well and you can see him develop into the hero he will one day be. In my imagination Larten Crepsley was more serious than the one given us by actor John C. Reilly (Chicago ). But I did enjoy his version of the experienced vampire mentor in the movie. But to me Josh Hutcherson (Journey to the centre of the earth) was best cast as Steve. Steve hates the world and his character will play a major part in the rest of the story (= other books). There's a lot of evil in Steve, but in this movie it remains at the surface. Sort of. As fans of the books all know, he's capable of doing much more damage.

The pace of the movie is pretty good: there's a lot to be told here. There's a lot of humour in it (the books were pretty serious) and the voice-over by Darren Shan works very well. Especially the first 20 minutes (with the actual freakshow) were well done. Salma Hayek looks stunning with beard and actually gets more screen time than in the books. Too bad her acting isn't always that convincing. Ken Watanabe is a great Mr. Tall, the boss of Cirque du Freak. He gives the movie a great mysterious quality.

Okay, then the bad things. Sometimes the acting and action scenes were bad. Some of the effects looked fake. And the fact that it all ended with an ordinary rumble was a disappointment. The ending seemed very rushed. But what really let me down were the mysterious Mr. Tiny and his army of Little People. In the books Mr. Tiny is a cold hearted man who's so scary and powerful that every word he uses can be felt as a dagger in your heart. But in the movie he's just a silly old bald man who talks too much. His army of Little People – Jawa like creatures he raised from the dead – seemed too computer generated and looked like a pitiful low-budget effort to imitate Gollum. Too bad.

But overall I really enjoyed Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. It's a good introduction to the vampire world of Darren Shan and I sincerely hope that the movie will be so successful that there will be a part 2. Because when Darren, Crepsley and Little Creature Harkat travel to Vampire Mountain , that's when the real fun begins!
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Give it a Chance! Actually rather good!
Paul Martin31 October 2009
Appreciating a wider variety of movies than most people, I rated this movie highly, and do certainly recommend it. The special effects were done very well, and yet were not overly used, as so many movies are these days. Character development was done well also, VERY nice to see in a time when more movie time and money is spent on "fluff" with no substance. The storyline developed rather smoothly and flowed well. Even people I know who normally have difficulty following a storyline, were able to keep track of things. (Again, the storyline in many movies are either confusing by being poorly edited/put together, or on the opposite end.... boringly simple.) I actually liked this movie a lot, as it made me interested in the books/stories, and want to see other "chapters", to see how the story proceeds and concludes. I do hope they follow with the sequel(s).

I do recommend this movie for adults & adolescents. (Probably a bit much for kids real young.)
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Entertaining Movie
Karen26 January 2009
I watched a screening of this movie and loved it. I wasn't sure whether to expect a children's movie or adult movie, and it came out to be more like the latter. I grew up reading & watching "Goosebumps", and this movie made me feel like I was watching a "Goosebumps" film tailored for adults.

John C. Reilly does a really great job acting; it's nice to see him do something more challenging again. If you are turned off by his work in movies like Walk Hard, Talladega Nights, etc., give him a chance in this movie. He really impressed me. Patrick Fugit was my favorite actor in the film; his character was visually an eyesore but also in some odd way incredibly adorable. And Chris Massoglia, of course, was a great lead actor.

I would watch this film again when it officially comes out in theaters.
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Targeted for teens but still entertaining for adults
ersinkdotcom27 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It's very easy these days to dismiss any film based on a successful young adult book series as just a studio's attempt to throw something up against the wall that could effectively begin a franchise and seeing if it sticks. You have every right to be suspicious of that, based upon the number of fantasy books that have tried it and been mostly unsuccessful - The Seeker, The Golden Compass, Narnia, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Bridge to Terabithia, Eragon, and the list could go on and on and on. I mean, let's be honest. When you see the trailer for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and realize that the same guy that kick-started the Harry Potter franchise is directing it, you kind of feel like the studios are really getting desperate to try to launch something new in the genre to continue to milk it. Almost like their trying to get lightning (pun intended) to strike twice or more times in the same place. I'm sure that's what everyone is thinking about this adaptation of Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak series of books.

It probably doesn't help that the movie features vampires that don't have fangs and seem to have an Interview with a Vampire theme of the main bloodsucker not wanting to kill humans and be a good guy. Believe me, I'm getting tired of that just as much as you are. But that's pretty much where the comparisons end here. All the other vampire's featured in the film definitely have a lust for human blood and the main bad guy, Murlough, actually files his teeth into fangs. This is also not just a story about fighting vampires. Yes, the main conflict in the film is between two groups of the bloodthirsty undead, but there are many different types of characters that we run into on our way through the film. You've got Patrick Fugit as a snake-boy, Salma Hayek as a bearded lady with psychic powers, Tom Woodruff, Jr. as the Wolfman, Orlando Jones as a guy with his skin missing and his ribs exposed, and an extremely evil fellow that seems to play everyone against each other to get what he wants named Mr. Tiny. He seems to have some kind of bizarre magical powers that weren't completely explained.

Just with the names above, you can see that there was no expense spared in pulling together a pretty impressive ensemble cast. Then add to that Willem Dafoe as a rather eccentric acting vampire and a very unexpected John C. Reilly as the freak show vampire Larten Crepsley. Reilly really delivers in the role, being witty and slightly scary in the as Crepsley. He almost veers completely off his normal path of the idiot friend or relative that he has paved for himself by being in Stepbrothers, Talladega Nights, and Walk Hard. The reason I say almost is he still retains a sense of humor, but just not THAT kind of humor.

The film does a really good job of staying dark and not compromising what I feel the director was trying to accomplish with the atmosphere and adaptation by watering it down and making it overly "safe" for tweens and a younger audience. The villains, Mr. Tiny and Murlough, have a lot to do with the dark tone of the film. They are both quite frightening and detestable to look at. There's also some more adult-oriented language that you don't usually get in these types of movies.

Sometimes, it sort of feels like the director and writers had to "paraphrase" or shove in some little parts to fit them in to the film. Sort of like something was going to be important to mention in this one if there ever is a sequel. You could really feel it at the end, as it seemed like they were giving you visual footnotes for something that could be coming in the future.

I found Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant to be a pretty enjoyable film. It had a darkly comic and sarcastic vibe that many of the films based on these types of books seem to miss. I haven't read every book of every film that has been made from a young-adult series, but this movie definitely seemed to be rooted a little bit more in the reality and attitude of teenagers and the way they act and live together. Will this be one of those times where the movie will make enough money for the studio to kick off a new franchise? Who knows. Odds are against it, but you can never stop hoping.
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Not as bad as it could have been
NavyOrion4 November 2009
My tween-age daughter has become a fan of all things vampire thanks to the "Twilight" books and films, so she asked me to take her to see this movie, even though it's based on a different series.

Although "Cirque du Freak" shows its "young adult" target audience, it was not as bad as many teen-oriented films I have seen. It had an interesting, if simplistic, storyline, and was effectively filmed. I agree with the comments that especially commend the Freak Show scene as an early high point, but the rest of the story moved along at about the right pace, and I never found myself bored.

I'm told the teen lead was very attractive, but he's not much of an actor. His evil counterpart, played by Josh Hutcherson of "RV," was somewhat better. I'm not a real John Reilly fan, but he did a good job in his leading role. Willem Dafoe was wasted playing, essentially, a vampire version of John Waters. I would hope that Ken Watanabe and Salma Hayek would have a bit more to do in future installments. Ditto Orlando Jones, who hasn't done much since the horrible "Evolution" nearly killed his career. I also hope the character of Mr. Tiny is written better in the future; this guy was a pain to watch, and came off more like a sweaty pedophile than a supernatural referee or whatever the hell he was supposed to be.

Parents: nothing to worry about here. I'm not even sure how it came in at PG-13, unless there was some mild profanity sprinkled in that I don't remember. This might be a little complicated for little ones, but ages 8 and over shouldn't be scared by anything they see here. Best of all, it's not too painful for adults to watch if you must. Then again, I'm a veteran of the Pokemon movies; I've been to movie hell, so I can sit through anything now.
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See this one BEFORE it comes out on DVD!
toylovers2 November 2009
Unable to understand the low ratings that critics are giving this film. From the dazzling and witty opening credits through the delightful cast and story line, this film delivers great visuals, charm and one of John C. Reilly's best performances to date! A little disappointed that we didn't see enough of Willem Dafoe, But Salma Hayek was charming! Young adults will enjoy the freak show characters and vampire storyline; older viewers will get a kick out of the humor and identifying actors from other films. I haven't read the books, but I sure would love to see what happens on the next day as the film comes to a close. FOLLOW YOUR HEART, FORGET THE NAY-SAYERS AND SEE THIS FILM WHILE YOU CAN!
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Good Movie But Unfaithful to the Books!
g-bodyl28 February 2010
This is a pretty good movie based of the books by Darren Shan. I have read all 12 books and I was highly anticipating this movie. Even thought I liked this film, I was slightly disappointed that there were so many changes to the film. The producers said that this film was from Books 1-3, but it seemed like only Book 1.

This film is about two friends who are invited to the Cirque Du Freak. After the show, one friend Darren Shan steals a spider. After the spider mortally wounded his friend he asks for an antidote. But the only way to do that would to give up his humanity.

I was surprised to see John C. Reilly as Mr. Crepsley. He doesn't seem to fit that role. He's never that serious. Well, he did an excellent job. Mr. Tiny is one creepy guy. He is someone that no one would want to cross with.

I am surprised to see how many people compare this to Twilight. The only similarities is that both movies/books have vampires. In fact, the Cirque du Freak book series were published before the Twilight series. Anyway, this is a good movie even though it's somewhat different from the books. I rate this film 8/10.
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Why. Just why.
bookworm-10116 April 2013
Let me make this clear: I loved these books. They are the best vampire series I have ever read, and when I heard that they were becoming a movie, I was ecstatic. I thought that maybe, FINALLY, people could see what really good vampires could be like. But I suppose after Eragon and Alex Rider, I should have known better than to give Hollywood that much credit. With the exception of Josh Hutchenson, no one was playing their character justly (or correctly!) and the way the movie arranged the story didn't even make sense. Not only do I want a retraction, I want a movie annulment- that way it never happened in the first place and someone can start all over and do it right.
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Brought a Surprising Smile to My Face
Rebecca (racker-5)24 October 2009
This movie was actually very entertaining. I didn't expect much going in but I actually liked the story. While I thought it was going to be a Twilight ripoff, I think it actually made in fun of Twilight a little bit--which made for great fun. The acting was better than expected. I was especially surprised by John C. Reilly. I absolutely loved his character! I agree with others when I say that it's actually refreshing to see him in a more serious role. The movie was interesting, unique, caring, and humorous. I definitely recommend seeing the movie. I think it's going to be a great series. I look forward to seeing the next movie.
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This isn't Darren Shan at all
lisa-haraldsson28 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER ALERT! : I recently watched this movie again and I don't know what to say except: THEY DESTROYED DARREN SHAN FOR ME!!!! Almost none of the events actually has to do with the books. To the people out there who think this movies is good and haven't read the books! I suggest you to read them!!! The characters for a start: The first thing bothering me is the age of Darren Shan. In the movie he is 16-17 years old but in the books he is actually 10-11 years! How the frick do you manage to get 10 to 16 years? Truska: She is not together with Mr. Creplsey where did they get that idea? Also Combra Limbs is a guy not a girl! Mr. Tiny: I do not know how they did it but they actually destroyed him for me. Tiny isn't on Steves or Darrens side he just wants to know how is the strongest to take the title as vampire lord BUT in the movie he is clearly helping Steve to gain an advantage. Wolfman: in the movie he is tamed. What's up with that??!!! He is supposed to have gone mad from the mix of wolf an human blood. Not to be tame and bite at command unless he's been hypnotized by Mr.Tall Also the circus show: It was supposed to be scary right? yes no? yes in the book it was a frightening show but they completely destroyed it in the movie! I also doesn't like them adding character who aren't even needed in the movie. Monkey girl is Debbie in the books but does anyone even care. She isn't the Debbie she is just some unnecessary character that was needed for Darren to have a romance with because he is a teen.

Also fan of Darren Shan might have noticed the ending: The real ending was Darren giving up his life as a human and then traveling to the circus with Mr. Crepsley. The ending of book 3 was Darren leaving Debbie after she nearly got killed. Oh and also Debbie lives in another city and she is not a freak. She is a normal girl who got a crush on Darren.

However the ending of the movie his whole family is watching him have vampire powers and hey they also got to know he is a vampire! TALK ABOUT KILLING THE MOVIE

The biggest thing is: This movie was created in the era with gloomy and dark vampire movies but the director said "hey let's make a vampire movie which isn't so dark and depressing"

Did the director ever read Darren Shan? My guess is no! There was another script created by Brian Helgeland( he created som horror movies) but the script was completely re-written by Paul Weitz (creator American Pie).

My only question is why did they give a comedian the power to make this movie why not Brian who was actually a horror writer.

I will never admit that this was a Darren Shan movie because the only thing that belonged there was the names other wise it was just a random story.
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From a fan of the books...
ChildofGallifrey24 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
CDF is arguably my favorite book series of all time, so I really tried to go into this with an open mind. Judging on it's own merits, I would rate the movie a 4 or 5: barely worth watching until the end, but not quite bad enough to bring back to Blockbuster before it's over. Judging it as an interpretation of the books, it doesn't even deserve a 1. Rule #1: if you're making a movie out of a series of popular books, you need to keep more than the characters names. And that is about all they left the same. Mannerisms, appearances, plot, everything was changed. Even the tagline for the movie is wrong, because the vampires in this series aren't immortal.

The plot is about what you'd get if you threw the first 3 books of the series into a blender, dumped that into a tank of starved, ravenous sharks, then let all of histories greatest sushi chefs ginsu it until nothing recognizable remained. One thing that keeps popping up: YES this is a vampire movie, but NO, Twilight fans, this series was around for about a decade before the solar-powered disco balls ruined vampire fiction for us all.

John C. Reilly gives probably the best performance in the film. While a good bit different than described in the books, his portrayal of Mr. Crepsley was at least entertaining to watch. William Dafoe appears for all of about 5 minutes as the supposed-to-be battle hardened veteran vampire Gavner Purl, except Dafoe looks and vaguely acts like John Waters. Ken Watanabe is merely decent as the circus owner, Mr. Tall. Michael Cerveris' character, Desmond Tiny, is supposed to be the embodiment of cold, bone chilling evil, but comes across as the flamboyant uncle you try to avoid at family reunions. I have nothing to say about Salma Hayek, who is there for eye candy first, and plot significance second. Finally, Ray Stevenson almost comes off as menacing as the villain Murlough, even though the character is supposed to have dark purple skin and glowing red eyes, hair, lips and nails, but following the source material is for squares Daddy-O!

But Chris Massoglia, playing the lead role, literally could not have been worse. I've used this analogy before, but I have seen corpses show more emotion than this kid. In a scene when he has to fake his own death(undoubtedly causing his family and loved ones incredible pain and suffering, mind you) he acts as if he could be going to a pizza parlor for dinner. In the books, Darren is an impulsive hothead. In the film, Massoglia could have been replaced with a Bozo the Clown blow up doll and you would have seen more emotion (at least the doll would smile). Yeah, yeah, one could argue that he's young and inexperienced, but I don't buy that. I've known first time actors, many of whom were much younger than Massoglia, do much better jobs than he did. Hell, Anna Paquin won an Oscar when she was 12! If there is any justice in the world, Chris Massoglia will never work again and Edward Norton will finally win an Oscar.

I did get one brief laugh towards the end though, when Reilly was fighting Ray Stevenson's character, and that was only because in the books Darren remarks on how short their fight was (supposed to be) because "they weren't trying to please action-hungry audiences", when the fight scene was nothing but spectacle filled, drawn out filth attempting to do just that.

If you would like an emotionally driven, decently written vampire saga, read the Cirque du Freak books. If you'd like to see a book-film adaptation so bad that some electricity might actually refuse to power it, watch this movie.

2/10, and that's me being generous.
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Great fun, a good book adaptation
postillon23 October 2009
The movie is quite entertaining, I think several scenes in the movie are much more successfully handled as in book itself. (I am only familiar with book one, yet.) So, I liked the way as scriptwriters anticipate some future elements of the story: for example by the sudden visions of Madame Truska or by bringing forth the character of Gavner -played by the always excellent Williem Dafoe- into this "prelude" movie. I have also very like that smiling facial expression performed by John C. Reilly by the end of the move (for this small gesture prefigured that affectionate relationship and love that Larten will feel toward his assistant, Darren. I liked the scenes with the Snake Boy, Evra, who is much for significant character in the movie than in Book 1 (particularly in the pompous Circus-scene of the movie). I big fight between Larten and Murlaugh in the cemetery was just great The flaws are (I mention here only a few): Darren's relationship with his parents is depicted in a very stereotypical way in the picture (I know, the parents here are just background-figures, but still) I have also missed the scenes with the tarantella, Madame Octa. The scene: stealing of Octa by Darren is extremely weak, and not excited at all. The special telepathic relationship between the spider and its trainer in not explained or discussed in the movie at all, and the filmmakers omitted some of the most interesting "kunst" Octa capable of (like the wet spinned on Lartens mouth, etc.) Octa was not controlled by the voice of the flute, that was just a secondary thing!! But she was controlled by human thoughts in the book!! Performances: Male actors steal the show. I especially like the performance by Michael Cerveris as Mr. Tiny. The acting of John C. Reilly (as Larten Crepsley) was a very-very pleasant surprise for me. I can congratulate from the casting-director and for the producers of their choice. Jessica Carlson (in the role of the monkey-girl, Rebecca) was charming and natural- including her tail  The CGI: unfortunately nothing special, or "revolutunary new", just the usual good-level work. The Cinematography/Lightning: excellent choice for the the basic mood/atmosphere of the movie. The colors and tones are quite vivid, not so digitally soft and pale like in the trend today in fantasy movies (like in the last HP for example). This braver, more intense coloring was good for Cirque du Freak. I must praise the work of Tom Woodruff Jr. and his faithful partner: the "monster-costumes", and make up-effects were absolutely perfect!

In my opinion: It was a good start. I think that this movie desires the love of younger audiences, and also hope the studio-moguls will give a chance for the makers for continue this franchise after this start.

My rating: 7.5 (out of 10).
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Funny and Dark
dhmtn26 September 2009
I just saw this movie at Fantastic Fest in Austin. I really loved it. Unlike the Potter movies, it succeeds in being dark without taking itself too seriously. The characters were rich, the acting superb, and the pace was neither frantic nor plodding, but just right. John C. Reilly was excellent -- he had a very powerful presence that I'd not really noticed before.

I haven't read the books, but the actors said the books' author also loved the movie. I realize movies rarely live up to readers' ideals, but this movie really stood on its own merits. There was a lot of dark/sarcastic humor (one-liners, mostly) in the movie that I understand wasn't in the books -- and it really worked. Unlike the Harry Potter books, I'm anxious to read these due to my appreciation of the movie.
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Utter tripe.
Greywolf90714 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Where does one start with such a waste of electricity as this must have been?

I am not from the intended demographic which clearly seems to be 10 - 15 yr olds ie those that read the entertaining books by author Darren Shan.

Puerile in the extreme from start to finish this offering is poorly scripted and acted throughout, it seems ALL expense has been spared with effects and how William Defoe ended up in this garbage is mind boggling.

My boys, fans of Mr Shan's work and from the right target group were embarrassed that they had requested its purchase and viewing, it is such a shame that reasonable children's books are bastardised to make sub standard bandwagon jumping movies.

Appallingly bad, avoid at all costs and save yourself some angst and ire.
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Excellent vampire comedy for adults and kids
paul david5 February 2010
I have seen Twilight New Moon (hasnt everyone!?) and also the Korean bloody vampire movie Thirst but I guess the closest this comes is the older Interview with a Vampire, story is a long way off.

Basically this is a comedy movie for kids up to 16 or so and if you are an adult like me and still enjoyed it, good for you! Pleasant story line, I am not familiar with the books but my 11 year old ought to be better hooked on these books than the Twilight ones which have been hyped up too much. give credit here where credit is due, a good original story with lots of fun moments and if they did take out from the original trailer, it is all the more better for the film.

Good vampire movie overall, nothing horrific, nothing cheesy like Twilight movie, nothing too nasty, just a nice film to watch for all the family. Go spoil yourself and have a scream or two, it wont hurt!
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Very Enjoyable !
bobbiechris24 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I went 2 see it on the 1st night it came out... i thought it was amazing and so did my 3 friends i went to see it with. I thought that the cast was amazing & they could not have chosen better ! Chris Massoglia was an amazing lead...i didn't like him at the begin with but as the movie went on i leaned to love him and i realised why he was chosen for the role as he was a really good Darren ! I haven't seen any films with John C. Reilly in before but i thought he was a very good choice for the part of Mr Crepsley. I imagined that he would be more serious but instead they went for the funny side of him and i thought it was a great choice ! I think that Jessica Carlson was very good as Rebecca the monkey girl(for the people who have read the book she's Debby.) and her and Chris had really good chemistry ! Salma Hayek was a very good choice for Truska the bearded lady ! Me and my friends immediately liked her...she was amazing. They couldn't have chosen any-one better ! favourite person in the whole film was Josh Hutcherson as Steve. I have been a massive fan of Josh's and i think this has been his best film yet ! He is very good a Steve ! He brings out the dark side of himself and it makes you believe that he is actually very evil !

The only thing bad i have to say about the film is towards the end (don't read this bit if u don't want to know about it. and if u haven't read the books.) Me and my friends where saying that we thought that it was going to put all of the films together as Darren goes home and he finds the poster for the cirque and there was a not saying "see you at the theatre." now this confused me because in the last book Darren and Steve have there final showdown in the theatre. Also it seemed as though they didn't know where to end it. It seemed like it was going to finish in one place than they go to somewhere else

Other than that it's a very good film...Amazing !
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Good Adaption, very entertaining.
Nat Sprouse10 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Naturally being a Darren Shan book fan, i re-read the boos before seeing the film on its opening date, being very excited for months and researching how much it would be based on books etc. I came out happy. Darren Shan the author of the books stated he was there during filming and it was loosely based on the books, but he still loved it and cant wait for the sequel. Being aware of them trying to promote this as a movie alone i went prepared.

This film was about a 16 year old (12 years old in the books) Darren Shan, who finds himself wound up in the fast moving world of vampires, and there evil blood-brothers the Vampaneze (throughout the book series he will face the consequence's of being a vampire, learn his strength and the sickening truth of where his life is leading.)

The story may have felt rushed at places but thats OK, it explained all it needed to explain and if we complain about this film, we would have to complain about EVERY film wouldn't we? Overall i really enjoyed the small dark humour it contained, the trailers made it look like it wouldn't deliver a scary atmosphere but it most certainly did.

Im going to have to nit-pick at a few things from the books i didn't like here. The fact Steve was a vampaneze straight away which will change later story lines, but I'm sure the movie will work around these and make it work (As i said, these are the films not books) The little people didn't scare me, since seeing the last book cover (With a picture of a little person on it) i was giddy from seeing them but the smile fell when i did see them, other than that not to many complaints.

The main lead who portrayed Darren, certainly looked like Darren may have, but his acting was weak, hopefully he will improve, we cant blame him for this, most child actors lack brilliant skills. Josh Hutcherson who played Steve really made me love his character, he was one of the few people perfect for Steve, having a moody laid back attitude all the time yet a secretly dark side was good for him.

Overall, don't listen to the critics! They cant always be trusted, many people love films they bash, just because they have the official critic name, doesn't mean they are always right...


P.S to people talking about VAMPIRE films coming out now, This was actually filmed in 2007 before twilight and all the other crap, its just late for release.
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A really Good Film
princessamy327 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Overall, I think that this was a great film. I am a BIG fan of the books, & as soon as I heard this film was coming out I had to go see it. I especially like John C Reilly as Mr Crepsley, as he was my favourite in the book too. I just don't understand why he had a relationship in the film, as I'm pretty sure he didn't in the books? I think the little people were well presented, apart from the little person who was mainly featured, as I thought he was rather sweet, and I'm sure they were meant to be a bit scary. The fight scenes were very well laid out, except I agree with some other people, as the writers did seem to cram to much into the film, such as the fight with Steve and Murdoch being Killed. It was very enjoyable to watch & I think it was a great vampire film. I can't wait for the Secuel (: (If there is one :L)
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I guess there's one movie for the family to see for Halloween.
brownah1824 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Starting out in the movie, Steve (Josh Hutcherson) and Darren Shan (Chris Massoglia) have always been best friends. After skipping class and getting in trouble at school Darren is forced by his parents Don McManus and Colleen Camp, Mr. and Mrs. Shan to not be friends anymore. When getting an invite to a Cirque du Freak show they will never forget, Darren steals Crepsley's spider and Steve try's to convince Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) a two hundred year old Vampire to make him a vampire. Massoglia has some real potential i think when he made this movie and I'm sure will grow to be a great actor in the film industry. Reilly is funny yet serious in his role in the movie which makes it fun to watch. I caught him being interviewed on Conan the week before his movie came out talking about his childhood and when his mother brought him and his brother to see Halloween. They were both only twelve and ten at the time. Wanting to leave the movie all throughout, when getting back home Reilly's brother plays a prank on him when he is told to shut off all the lights in the basement. After getting to the last one above the stars his brother turns it off on him and he is scared whit-less and runs up the stairs terrified. Even just telling his story about his childhood makes me laugh. After giving some insight on his childhood it helps you understand what life was like for him before he became a star. I like hearing about the down to earth things with stars, it makes them seem normal in a sense that they are just like regular people. There was not to many special effects, but the small ones of the vampires running and the spider and the Cirque Characters was pretty good. Makeup was really well done and the costumes were as well. Looking forward to see what else Massoglia has next on his agenda with movies, hopefully see him sometime within the next year. This movie will leave you satisfied at the end because there is a great performance from Massoglia and Reilly. See my Reviews on, thanks ahb.
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An excellent adaption of the book series
Grissom6627 October 2009
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.

16-year-old Darren (Chris Massoglia) was like most kids in his suburban neighborhood. He hung out with his best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson), got decent grades and usually stayed out of trouble. But when he and his buddy stumble upon a traveling freak show, things begin to change inside Darren. That's the exact moment when a vampire named Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) turns him into something, well, bloodthirsty.

Newly undead, he joins the Cirque Du Freak, a touring sideshow filled with monstrous creatures from a snakeboy and a wolfman to a bearded lady (Salma Hayek) and a gigantic barker (Ken Watanabe). As Darren flexes his newfound powers in this dark world, he becomes a treasured pawn between the vampires and their deadlier counterparts. And while trying to survive, one boy will struggle to keep their brewing war from devouring what's left of his humanity. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant 10/10
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The Vampire's Assistant
myboo121023 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Well, when i was going to see this movie, i had really high hopes that it would match up with the books at least MOST of the time... which it did, for at least the first half of the movie. they pretty much crammed the first book into the first half of the movie. up until the digging-up of Darren's "grave", the movie matched the book very well. Then, it seemed that the people who wrote the script for the movie and the director wanted to rush the movie (a bit TOO much) to cram in the first three books worth of info. not to mention, they introduced a new character (the monkey girl) into the story, and she wasn't even IN the book series, and also replaces one of the principal characters in the books. also, in the book series, the first meeting between Darren and Steve after Darren is blooded shouldn't have been that dramatic and should NOT have led to a fight. ALSO, the fight with Murlaugh was supposed to take place in the sewers of the city where Larten grew up. the fight should NOT have been in the theater. and Darren's family was NOT supposed to become involved, because they HAD to think he was dead! in my opinion, the directors should have just used the first TWO books, so they would have had more time to buff up some of the more important details and plug up some of the plot holes.

other than that... awesome movie, i really loved it
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awesome movie, but i can see why book fans are unhappy.
gurldancer159 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Frankly, I loved this movie! It was fun, odd, and rather amusing. The transformation of Darren was awesome I thought. Preppy little school boy to awesome half vampire. It rocked.

OK, now on to better formed expressions of the film.

I have always been afraid to pick up a vampire book for two reasons: the old fashion boring stuff and the over-dramatic romance. I always fine it rather disgusting. So here I was on a Tuesday afternoon with nothing to do when my mom said, "hey we've seen every single movie out right now except that vampire thing... do you wanna see it?" With a yawn i said sure why not... and off we went...

I couldn't stop laughing through the entire thing, the bearded woman and monkey girl seemed out of place, but it made the movie work... and Steve was really odd to me, but you know what he's just as odd in the first book too.

I came out of this movie dying for more... the following Thursday i bought the first book and read it in 8hours(didn't eat, sleep, or talked to anyone)LOL... on Friday i bought book 2 and 3 and in the end read 3 books in three days, while i worked as well... not an easy feat, i got into a fight with my BF over it, LOL... I'm buying the rest in a few days time...

I have to say though, i was really disappointed when i was told the movie was a compromise of the first three books, but it wasn't... Steve was only in the first book which they followed nearly to a T, but after that it strays off... at most this movie was a compromise of the first and a few of the later books when Steve comes back... book 2 and 3 are rarely apart of the film...

the movie was wonderful and recommend to anyone and everyone, unless you get mad if they don't follow the books to a T... i understand why book fans are upset, but they needed to make the film into a round circle, which the books don't...
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Do Not Watch!
cianisawesome009 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Worst movie I have ever seen. Who the hell is Rebecca and whatever happened to Debby and Sam. I read the books loved them was all excited about the movie and it sucked the only reason i even have it one star is because u can't put in lower! Not darren Shan at all. It is like the writers tried to put in the twelve books but were to lazy and after 5 minutes threw this piece of crap together.Don't take anything away from the books though, The books were unreal and Darren Shan is a great author it was just poorly portrayed by lazy writers and bad actors, god a teddy bear would show more bloody expression than the actor who played Darren.What more can I say it was an absolute disaster one of the worst movies ever.

Read the books.
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A disgrace to the books
Oh god no what a waste of my time and money. First of all it has very little similarities to the books, i had its moments but i was outraged by this film. So many mistakes and important things left out like the fact the Steve is not blooded until he is an adult! There is no war until Darren goes to Vampire mountain and becomes a prince. Steve's "mentor" is Murlough...Rubbish. Murlough was a mad and killed by Crepsley in new york, the cirque was never attacked by the vampaneze, and there was no girl with a monkey tail that Darren first fed of that was Sam gest who was dying because of the wolf man. Never see this film if you've read the books.
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Good film, Bad adaptation
torbonator27 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I went to see this film expecting a dark teen vampire tale. I was surprised that it was very funny, at first i thought John Reily was badly chosen to play Crepsly but he made him a fun character. As a stand alone film for people who have not read the books it will be a good film. But for people like me who a fans of the books may think its not dark enough and a bit too as i say "disnified" for a lower age audience. I thought the cirque du freak scene was badly cut and badly sequenced and when Darren becomes half-vampire his slicked backed hair looked incredibly wrong. Apart from those few knick pickings an overall good film to watch.
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