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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

In Theatres: 
Oct 23, 2009

Darren and Steve are like night and …a different kind of night. Darren is a straight A student – Steve not so much. Darren is popular – and Steve not so much. But despite their differences they are best friends. They do everything together, especially getting into trouble – skipping class, breaking school lights, sneaking out in the middle of the night to find a taboo freak show that’s rolled into town…. And that’s where the fun begins. Our dynamic duo gets caught up in a web of destiny that neither of them is prepared for. What they thought would just be a fun night of freaks turns into one becoming a vampire and the other a vampanese (ya I hadn’t head of it either but roll with it – it’s cute).

I was worried this would be a tragic Harry Potter rip off but it’s actually a really fun noir flick. It feels like something Lemony Snicket might dream up after watching too much Harry and Willy Wonka. It even has oompa lumpas!! Well sort of… or are they Gollums?  What ever they are they pull at the heart strings just a tiny bit.

The story is ageless – boy becomes reluctant hero to save his friend and gets sent on a strange adventure. But this time it’s done very well in a dark creepy way that’s just simply yummy for the eyes. The FX are dazzling through most of it (there are a few moments that made me scratch my head and think WTH happened to the great FX? But they were few and far between). The FX would be better viewed on the big screen but I think in this day of HD and wide screen tv’s it will do just fine as a rental too. I would still pop for the $10 to see it though.

The movie pulled a PG-13 rating for the violence. I don’t’ remember any vast amounts of blood being shed but in comparison to blockbusters like Transformers it pales in the violence level. It’s a noir flick with some thought behind it so it really is for the older kids. The young ones will either get bored or too scared.

The adult cast is great! John C. Reilly is fabulous as the vampire, Larten Crepsley, and Ray Stevenson makes the best villain to counter him as the vampanese, Murlaugh. It seems in this vampire mythos there are the pseudo-vegetarians (you gotta love the new PC vampires) that won’t actually kill a human to feed – they just knock you out and take a sip. And then there are the vampanese – the traditional violent, kill all humans, suck their blood till their dry kind of vamps. Our hero and his best friend get dragged right in the middle of these two factions and have to choose a side. Thankfully the adults have some acting ability to keep the kids afloat. They aren’t necessarily horrible; they just aren’t really that good. Chris Massoglia plays a pretty dry Darren. The poor kid just has no depth. But he’s playing a teen so how much depth can there be? And Josh Hutcherson is just ok as his buddy Steve. He’s supposed to be the bad boy but he seems to be just as pretty and just as popular as our boy Darren so it’s hard to buy into the bad boy aspect.   It’s the Cirque du Freaks that really round out the cast and make for a gorgeously dark and creepy atmosphere. Ken Watanabe as Mr. Tall, Salma Hayek as Madame Truska (the woman is smoking hot even with a full beard!), Orlando Jones as the really disgustingly creepy Alexander Ribs make a fun freak family. And Jessica Larson is just too cute as sweet little Rebecca.

Everyone should try and see this one. It’s fun, romantic, sweet, action packed and just plain silly.

Review by Sheree Cobernus