Monday, October 26, 2009

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant


I went in with the lowest expectations to Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. My movie premonition doesn't fail me often and in this case I was near dead on. What I was sure would be a predictably Hollywood adaptation of the first three books of "The Saga of Darren Shan" series by author ... um, Darren Shan, was just that. I'd never heard of it but for passing by a display of it in Chamblin's Downtown, Jacksonville and seeing a display. My only thought then, "Ugh, here comes the next movie series." Fuck, I hate being right. So in author Darren Shan's movie version of "The Saga of Darren Shan" the lead character Darren Shan is stiffly played by newcomer Chris Massoglia. It was like watching Hayden Christensen butcher the role on Anakin Skywalker all over again, only in this case there was little hope that even an Oscar® worthy performance of the role of Daren Shan would have saved us from the rest of the films buffoonish hoakeries. Darren Shan's (secret) best friend Steve is played by CGI laden movie staple Josh Hutcherson (see: Zathura, Bridge to Terabithia, RV, Journey to the Center of the Earth and, fuck... Firehouse Dog!). The buddies are lured into going to a forbidden freak show by a flyer that lands at their feet having been tossed from the window of a passing limousine that would have made Morticia Addams swoon.

To short step it, they go to the show, Darren Shan (a freak for eight legged freaks) steals a spider who is part of an act in the show, spider bites his pal Steve, Darren Shan makes a pact to become a vampires assistant for the antidote to save Steve, Steve is jealous that Darren Shan stole his dream of becoming a blood sucking little bitch, there is battle between good and evil sides, a meddling fat man named Mr. Tiny calls it a draw so as to move on to the next phase of the apocalyptic brawl he is orchestrating, which will of course take approximately two more movies to complete. Hyper colored, CGI the SyFy channel would settle for, a cavalcade of interesting peripheral characters in the freak show wouldn't have lead up to much had it not been for the surprisingly entertaining John C. Reilly, Salma Hayek and by far my fav ... Willem Dafoe.

Save it for cable or DVD.


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