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

Vampire's Assistant posterI went to see Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant with my parents last weekend, and I wasn’t too disappointed. It was a little cheesy and ridiculous, but since the book series is cheesy and ridiculous and yet somehow still enjoyable I didn’t much mind that part.

I’ve only read the first book of the series, and I thought it was mostly mediocre but with potential for more awesomeness as the series goes on. The movie is less mediocre and more over-the-top, which I think was actually a really good choice. If the movie had been exactly like the book(s) it would have been horrible and MST3K-worthy, so I’m glad they changed a lot of things.

The actors were a good choice; I really liked Chris Massoglia, who played Darren, and Patrick Fugit, who played Evra the lizard boy. I loved how John C. Reilly played Mr Crepsley as sarcastic and witty (and funny). He really was the best part of the movie, and if I end up watching the movie again it’ll be purely to see him.

I immediately noticed that they cut a lot of things from the books, like I said before. The things they cut made the movie move much quicker, and — this is kind of mean– a lot of the things they cut were the things that were, well, boring in the book. For instance, that time when Darren steals Madame Octa and keeps her in his room for weeks and weeks and the book goes through the whole re-training Octa thing and whatever. Boring! And they totally cut it from the movie. Yay!

Unfortunately they went a little too crazy with the cutting sometimes, and it felt like about half the movie was missing. I don’t want to sit through five hours of The Vampire’s Assistant, but I also want the movie to make sense, you know? It was like quickcut-quickcut-quickcut all the freakin’ time, and it was quickcutting away from any decent exposition. And with the way they cut it– it always felt like BIG REVEAL! OMG! was happening every ten minutes and that was really irritating.

Vampire's Assistant - Reilly!Like I said before, the books are really cheesy and some things in them are, uh, stupid (transferring blood through fingertips? Yeah, that’s dumb), but the movie tried to fix some of that (mostly through humor and John C. Reilly) and it wasn’t a bad result. It’s not my favorite movie adaptation of a book, but I had fun and I’ll probably go see it again when it hits the $1 movie theaters. If this movie was a book I’d rate it 3.5 birds.

I should mention that my parents, who haven’t read the books, loved the movie and had a great time. However, neither of them would pay to see it again, not even at the dollar theater (harsh, dudes).

Have you seen this movie? What did you think about it?

Note: The DVD comes out February 23, 2010! Pre-order it!

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