Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant Review

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is a mouthful of a title, but the internal struggle of deciding whether or not to see this movie isn’t as clearly spelt out. From a glance at the trailer any pretty avid movie-goer or savvy film enthusiast could attempt to predict the events that would unfold in “The Vampire’s Assistant.” The good people over at even tried to categorize it with one of the other many popular types of vampire movies out there stating, “You have your traditional vampires (“Nosferatu”), your blond slayer foils (“Buffy: The Vampire Slayer”), your sexy vamps (“True Blood”), your Euro children vampires (“Let the Right One In”) and your melancholy teenage variety (“Twilight”).” Try to think to yourself, could this movie fit into either one of these categories…(I’ve tried too, so seriously…do it).

You know when you’re doing a puzzle and there is a space that you want to fill and you have a piece that is only slightly unable to fit. You try to force it but it doesn’t work. This movie is that puzzle piece. It’s similar in many ways to some of the other vampire movies out, such as the teen vampires in “Twilight” or the love of a vampire and non-vampire in the “Underworld” series, but other than similarities it certainly carves its own little niche. This niche, however, is made slightly insignificant by the movies’ pathetic attempt at creating a full-blown saga.

The story is based on the “Cirque du Freak” series by Darren O’Shaughnessy, and starts out with a boy and his best friend at school. The typical good-boy type, (Darren), and his more rebellious best riend, (Steve), receive a pamphlet from an anonymous, (for now),stranger. The pamphlet invites them to a freak show called Cirque du Freak. They sneak out and go, and are introduced to many fascinating characters, (such as the lovely and quite hairy Madame Truska, played by Salma Hayek). As the story progresses a vampire,(John C. Reilly) on tour with the freak show, invites Darren to become his assistant half-vampire, and in order to save his now-ailing friend Steve, Darren hastily agrees. The process of vampirization is nicely depicted, with quaint humor thrown in at some parts.

The beginning, as you can see is quite a ride, and will make more sense and be more interesting if you are actually watching it, but it is the middle where the film’s predictability goes up, and by the end you find yourself calling all the next events. This gets annoying and cliché after a while, as a sequel is very evidently built up within the last half an hour of the movie. Most of the events in the last half hour hint the sequels so much, that it gets rid of the “ooh I can’t wait for the sequel to come out” feeling at the end.

As I was saying earlier though, the sheer curious nature of the beginning adds depth and gives the viewer a sense of intrigue. The majority of the films characterization also occurs at the beginning of the film, making it easily the movie’s capstone; without it Cique du Freak would tank.

All ending-lameness aside: there are better and more entertaining movies out that will satisfy your need for a good laugh or a good story. If you are a vampire-movie fan though, or simply loved the books, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is an interesting choice and will prove itself to be a merely acceptable reason to spend your hard-earned money.