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

Duration1h 59m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 11
Source of storySome books about Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan.
DirectorPaul Weitz
Writers/ScriptPaul Weitz, Brian Helgeland
StarringJohn C. Reilly, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Massoglia, Jessica Carison, Ken Watanabe, Salma Hayek, Frankie Falson, Willem Dafoe, Ray Stevenson,
RatingsIMDb: 5.8/10 by 46,956 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 38% by 139 reviewers. Review2view: 4.5/10.

Summary: The plot of this film requires us to accept that there are two sorts of vampire, the other sort vampire is vampanese, who kill their victims before feeding on their blood. The two sorts of vampire have a truce. Darren and his friend Steve are induced to visit the Cirque du Freak where they see a number of strange presentations culminating in that of a man with a very large spider. The boys see to recognise Crepsley as a vampire and Darren steals the spider “Madam Octa”. The theft brings Crepsley and Darren together, and Darren is recruited onto the staff of the theatre, but refuses to drink blood. However, Crepsley kills him so that he becomes one of the undead. Steve is not so lucky? But is recruited by Mr Tiny to become one of the Vampanese. Darren has a love interest, Monkey Girl, and the scene is set for a final confrontation.

Content: No sex or nudity, but Darren kisses Monkey Girl. There is a bit of drinking, but it might be blood. The boys are seen in school, and are attracted to the creep show where some amazing things are seen. Next the spider escapes in the school causing a massive affray. After Darren is killed there is a funeral and later Crepsley digs him up. A Vampanese, Murlough, hovers about and at times attacks the vampires. Steve is introduced to the Vampanese and becomes one of them. There is a showdown which involved Darren’s family and Monkey Girl being tied up.

A View: This film was not much liked by the critics and probably lost quite a bit of money. This resulted in multiple sequels being binned. It involves one of the recent developments in the vampire story line, that of good and bad vampires, which seems to be essential for young adult novels. Possibly this form of presentation has not worked very well in this film since it seems to be just a bit boring. There is little tension and not much blood probably to ensure a PG13 rating, so not really a watch even for nothing.

If you are interested in vampire stuff, here are three better, but lesser known films of the genre, reviewed on this site: 30 Days of Night, From Dusk Till Dawn and Let Me In.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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