5.9/10
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169 user 163 critic

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

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Teenager Darren Shan meets a mysterious man at a freak show who turns out to be a vampire. After a series of events, Darren must leave his normal life and go on the road with the Cirque du Freak and become a vampire.

Director:

Paul Weitz

Writers:

Paul Weitz (screenplay), Brian Helgeland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John C. Reilly ... Crepsley
Josh Hutcherson ... Steve
Chris Massoglia ... Darren
Jessica Carlson ... Rebecca
Michael Cerveris ... Mr. Tiny
Ray Stevenson ... Murlaugh
Patrick Fugit ... Evra the Snake Boy
Morgan Saylor ... Annie
Don McManus ... Mr. Shan
Colleen Camp ... Mrs. Shan
Ken Watanabe ... Mr. Tall
Salma Hayek ... Madame Truska
Orlando Jones ... Alexander Ribs
Frankie Faison ... Rhamus Twobellies
Willem Dafoe ... Gavner Purl
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Storyline

Teenager Darren Shan is an excellent student and the pride and joy of his perfect middle-class family, but his best friend is the reckless Steve. When they receive a flyer with an advertisement for a freak show, they sneak to the theater to see the attractions. The star attraction is a vampire called Larten Crepsley, who performs with a colorful yet very lethal spider. After the show, Darren tarries to see the spider and overhears Steve unsuccessfully trying to convince Larten to transform him into a vampire. Darren steals Larten's spider, which later bites Steve. In seeking an antidote from Larten, Darren accepts a deal to become his half-vampire assistant. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Darren. He's sixteen going on immortal.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

23 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cirque du Freak See more »

Filming Locations:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,293,205, 25 October 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,046,595

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,753,957
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie follows the book very very loosely. See more »

Goofs

When Darren is about to drink Rebecca's blood, she pulls her shirt down and there is a strap still left on her shoulder. When the shot switches to her back, the strap is gone, and upon snapping back to her front, it is there again. See more »

Quotes

Larten Crepsley: Now, you mentally unfit? Didn't you hear me threaten you at the show?
Steve: I did. It was awesome.
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Soundtracks

There Was a Time - Kenny Dope Remix
Written by James Brown, Buddy Hobgood
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Universal Records and The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprices
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Great fun, a good book adaptation
23 October 2009 | by postillonSee all my reviews

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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