Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Three books from Darren Shan's popular vampire-centric 12-book saga Cirque du Freak have been smooshed together to make Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant .… Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Three books from Darren Shan's popular vampire-centric 12-book saga Cirque du Freak have been smooshed together to make Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant .… 2009-10-23 PG-13 PT109M Action/Adventure Sci-fi and Fantasy John C. Reilly Willem Dafoe Patrick Fugit Salma Hayek Universal
Movie Review

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

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant | FANGLESS TASK John C. Reilly and Chris Massoglia vamp it up in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
Image credit: David Lee
FANGLESS TASK John C. Reilly and Chris Massoglia vamp it up in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
EW's GRADE
D+

Details Release Date: Oct 23, 2009; Rated: PG-13; Length: 109 Minutes; Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: John C. Reilly; Distributor: Universal

Three books from Darren Shan's popular vampire-centric 12-book saga Cirque du Freak have been smooshed together to make Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. The carnage from that smooshing litters this hectic yet dull tale about a high school kid named Darren (Holes' Chris Massoglia, all too generic) who — long story — becomes a half vampire and hangs out with a traveling freak show, much to the anger of his best friend (Josh Hutcherson). Darren's mentor is a rather droll full vampire dubbed Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly, working heroically to keep the movie aloft with his laid-back charm). Crepsley's nemesis is the angry bloodsucker Murlaugh (Ray Stevenson). Don't bother to take notes, because subplots go nowhere, and characters — many played 
 by well-known actors — barely get screen time. Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, and Jane Krakowski are among those who are there and gone. (Hayek is an entertaining eyeful as a lady with both full boobs and full beard.)

Cross my heart with a stake through it, this Cirque du Freak newbie could barely distinguish between the vampires (the ''good'' guys, who have learned how to coexist with humans) and their hungrier, less tolerant rivals, the Vampaneze. But Freak cognoscenti sitting near me were equally underwhelmed, even as a violent showdown had the whole bloody cast flying around and whomping one another. D+

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Originally posted Oct 21, 2009 Published in issue #1073 Oct 30, 2009 Order article reprints