Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

  • Film
  • Fantasy films
The latest bid to fill the looming gap left by the end of ‘Harry Potter’ is this scattershot but entertaining adaptation of ‘The Saga of Darren Shan’, a series of kids’ books narrated by the central character, a teenager caught up in a supernatural war. John C Reilly gamely chomps the scenery as showman Crepsley, who invites Darren (Chris Massoglia) into an underworld of freaks and vampires. There’s a lot of backstory and the plot is often hazy. There are also so many characters that some barely register, while others – like our teen hero – are just unlikeable. It’s very energetic, but a more relaxed sequel, in which everyone has fun, might be a big improvement.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday October 23 2009
Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Paul Weitz
Screenwriter: Paul Weitz, Brian Helgeland
Cast: John C Reilly
Josh Hutcherson
Chris Massoglia
Patrick Fugit
Ken Watanabe

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:16
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|38
1 person listening
Robert

I was ashamed of liking the books after watching this movie. there are just too many things they destroyed. i just want to know how Nathan gives it a 5/100. A whole 5? i do agree that the actors do quite well for the parts they were given but i heared that debbie hemlock might be in the next movie. how the hell will that work? oh and the main thing. WHERE THE HELL IS STEVE GREST!!!? i dont like using full capitals but i would rather watching someone line up all the books and then burn them one by one. that way it wouldnt be such an insult to the books. . one more thing. darren isnt supposed to be that old. hes meant to be a kid. because he isnt, the scene with darren jumping on lartens back just looks wrong. i did force myself to watch the whole thing and i wish i hadn't. all they need to do now is forget about of Vancha March and they've completely screwed everything up. another thing, what the hell is up with Harkat? Harkat was made to not hurt Darren ad is supposed to be a few feet tall, not a bitin foot long demon. i wish i had never known about the movie

Ryan

Amazing film. Very good effects and good plot. Overall i really enjoyed it but i was confused at the end and wondered. is there a second part to the film? and if so will it be out soon?

Ryan

Amazing film. Very good effects and good plot. Overall i really enjoyed it but i was confused at the end and wondered. is there a second part to the film? and if so will it be out soon?

remyr12

I haven't read the book yet so, I have don't know if the movie was true to that book. But from my experience, movies taken from a book are far different, hence, I prefer to watch the movie first before reading so not to disappoint myself to much when watching the film. I like the film, it was entertaining. I liked the humor they put into it and Mr. Creapsy and Darren's interaction..the funny parts. I know some said that J. Depp should have portrayed Mr. Creapsly. However, I like the actor here (forgot his name), I like the way he acted. My kids loved the film like us. I hope they make a sequel.

remyr12

I haven't read the book yet so, I have don't know if the movie was true to that book. But from my experience, movies taken from a book are far different, hence, I prefer to watch the movie first before reading so not to disappoint myself to much when watching the film. I like the film, it was entertaining. I liked the humor they put into it and Mr. Creapsy and Darren's interaction..the funny parts. I know some said that J. Depp should have portrayed Mr. Creapsly. However, I like the actor here (forgot his name), I like the way he acted. My kids loved the film like us. I hope they make a sequel.

Nathan

Set on my favorite saga of books, however i feel that they have raped tthe story and ruined it making me doubt that anyone who has ever read the books worked on set with many of the most important parts of the books removedsuch as how darren gets his ticket and his other two best freinds who are failed to be mentioned even though they become very important to the story. The great thing about the books was darren shans amazing story telling that keeps people interested and continualy thinking throughout the books, the director basicly had a script written for him why mess with that and invent events and meetings that didnt need to happen such as when he meets mr tiny after the show who should be SMALL which annoyed me so much he is ment to be short as it is a double joke with his name as he is short and with desmond shortened to des his name spellls destiny an inside joke about how he controles the charectors and their actions without them realising he also would never have met the vampenese in the car with him as he is in a different town and years into the future, there was no need to mix around the story line like this you would go kill obi one in the third star wars movie so why mess around with this one. I also dont like the casting and think whoever was in charge of it should be fired and never be given a job in film making ever again, its not that the actors are bad i like most of the ones whom i had heard of before the film but none of them are really very suited to the parts which they play, such as with john C reilly could never be "creepy" enough to play mr creapsly and the part would be much better suited to johnny depp. On the whole i believe that the movie would be almost unconcievably better if they had stayed more true to the story and had not gone crazily off course inventing charectors and removing others they also needed to give darrens normal life in much more detail the 2 minuites which said he was cool and clever was not enough to make him seem like a realistic charector in my opinion they should have done the first book as a movie on its own and then done movies as 2 or 3 books for the rest as with a good background which they could easily of used as a base on which to try and creat an amazing series of movies such as harry potter rather than the one movie like lemmony snickets a serries of unfortunate events became from trying to rush the serries along, even with this seemingly giant review i could easily stay and complain about more things such as the location in america the relationship between darren and steve the unbelievable parents unlike the charectors that they are ment to be like ect. i do however have to admit that i did not watch the whole of the film and could only make myself watch the first 30 minutes because as a true lover of the books could not stand to see them butched any further. i would give this film a 5/100 as i believe that not only my time was wasted but my life has been damaged by it and i hope that say in 5 years it will get a drastic remake such as with the incredable hulk so that the story will be enjoyed by many more people

Derrek Sarkston

The Books were amazing, in my opinion the best Saga ever, the movie was also very good but i prefer the books, in my opinion the books are always better then the movies, and i would have loved if Mr.Crepsley was played by johnny dep or someone else because if you have read the books you would know that mr.crepslys personality and apperance is much far from this actors thats why i gave the movie 4 stars they should pick vetter actors in some of the characters.

Flor

The books were my favourite ever, and this film comes close to their greatness! My only complaint is the American setting, but that doesn't change much

Flor

The books were my favourite ever, and this film comes close to their greatness! My only complaint is the American setting, but that doesn't change much

nickyr

Absolutely love all the books so was dreading seeing this movie as the films never live upto the books.....i want to say i hated it but the truth is i really didn't! it was so cleverly done! My main tip...if you've read the books go with an open mind, the film doesn't follow them exactly but has definately done them justice! looking forward to the next one! :)

_Matt_1977_

Full of tired movie tropes, patronising moral and politically correct preaching and cringeworthily exaggerated teenage angst, this is silly, childish and immature garbage. Sometimes entertaining, occasionally even funny and often simply appalling, overall it scales the giddy heights of absolute mediocrity. Replete with two-dimensional cardboard cutout characters, some of them pure caricatures, it has little to offer an adolescent audience, let alone an adult one. Children of primary school age might enjoy it more, but its 12A rating is well-deserved and it is not for the sensitive child. The film has one moment of sheer awesome near the end (watch out for Mr. Tiny's last trick), but for me that isn't enough to drag it out of the quagmire of drivel which precedes that point. The best thing that I can say about this movie is that it isn't Dance Flick and it wasn't directed by Damien Wayans. And whilst that's a good thing to say about any movie, it's a pretty low bar to cross. Frankly I was thinking of giving this film two stars, but then I read all the frankly unbelievable 5-star supposed consumer reviews (below), and I realised that to give this piece of garbage two stars would be an insult to all the other movies I've given two stars to recently. And "vampanese"? Oh please. What an awful and totally unnecessary word. It makes my skin crawl, and not in a good way. In summary, this movie is very bad. It's not the worst movie I've ever seen - not by a very long way indeed - but really it has very little to offer.

katie

i have read all the books many times havent seen the film yet but i have lookin forward ti it for a long i hope i am not disapionted so far the reviews are lookin good but i still think the books are always better than the films i like to be proved wrong

katie

i have read all the books many times havent seen the film yet but i have lookin forward ti it for a long i hope i am not disapionted so far the reviews are lookin good but i still think the books are always better than the films i like to be proved wrong

Britney

Have not seen the film yet , hoping to go and see it today with my cousin and my mate. I don't want to go if the film is rubbish, so any good reviews?

Britney

Have not seen the film yet , hoping to go and see it today with my cousin and my mate. I don't want to go if the film is rubbish, so any good reviews?

sam

My favourite film EVER! Nothing else matches this in my opinion!

sam

My favourite film EVER! Nothing else matches this in my opinion!

Jamie

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.

Jamie

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.

Nick Salmon

I went into this film expecting kiddy humour, a simple storyline, and below par CGI. I was wrong. Everything blew me away, and I just loved John C. Reilly's performance. I would definately not call this a "kiddy" film. I enjoyed it and I am 22!. Everyone should experience this film, as it is the best vampire film ever!

Nick Salmon

I went into this film expecting kiddy humour, a simple storyline, and below par CGI. I was wrong. Everything blew me away, and I just loved John C. Reilly's performance. I would definately not call this a "kiddy" film. I enjoyed it and I am 22!. Everyone should experience this film, as it is the best vampire film ever!

Nils

Great film. Worthy of both the original books, and many sequels!

Nils

Great film. Worthy of both the original books, and many sequels!

usman khawaja

how abysmal is the fate of a star-laden vampire comedy when it does not even succeed in making you chuckle ,much less laugh despite trying every trick from a bearded SELMA HAYEK to a TECHNICOLOUR SPIDER CALLED OCTA ,it is a damned shame as you feel sorry for the two teenage boys stuck in the middle of sectarian war with clumsy and not so funny CGI violence between two vampire species ,one of whom is suppposedly played as a comic satire on vampires and the other vampire clan indulges in open public horror ,much like the night watchers and day -watcher series . yet there is no such thing as either a fright or a frolic in this freak show which has neither any fun or fangs . this makes you wonder where ZOOMBIELAND found it's tongue in cheek humour and surreal satire from and it is all thanks to the power of the mighty pen.