Monday, March 29, 2010
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)
Things get freaky fast for 16-year-old Darren Shan (Chris Massoglia) when his friend (Josh Hutcherson) takes him to a circus that's chockfull of sideshow oddities. There, he meets vampire Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) and receives a life-changing bite on the neck. As the newest member of the mysterious Cirque du Freak troupe, Darren keeps company with Madame Truska (Salma Hayek) and sparks a war between the vampires and their rivals.
I came into this film with certain apprehensions but I left pleasantly surprised. This is a teen oriented vampire film that is less about romance and more about adventure. There is a good deal of humor which helps lighten some of the films darker tones, like death and a shaping vampire civil war. Riley gives a good performance as the cynical and dry humored Crepsley, and there are some nice cameos from many familiar faces. There's also a good mix of characters that range from the likes of vampires to other freaks like a snake boy, a wolfman, and a prophesizing bearded lady. As you would expect though, there is some cheesy dialogue and some of the characters (like Mr. Tiny) come off as just silly. There is also quite of bit of cussing for a PG-13 movie so I wouldn't really call this a family friendly film. All in all it is a fun movie that teens, and even adults and those whom havent read the book, can enjoy.