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CIQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISSTANT (2009)
Movie review by David Blackwell
 
108 minutes, rated PG-13
ASPECT RATIO: 2.35:1
STUDIO:  Universal Pictures/ Relativity Media/ Donners' Company/ Depth Of Field Productions
Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  10-23-2009
 
STARRING John C. Reilly (Larten Crepsley), Salma Hayek (Madame Treska), Patrick Fugit (Evfra The Snake Boy), Jessica Carlson (Rebecca), Chris Massoglia (Darren), Josh Hutcherson (Steve)
WRITTEN by Paul Weitz and Brian Helgeland, based on the books by Darren Shan
DIRECTED by Paul Weitz

PLOT: 

Darren is a normal smart high school kid with a bright future.  He has a best friend Steve (who is nothing but trouble).  One night, they sneak out to see the Crique du Freak.  They’re introduced to the world of the freaks including vampire Larten Crepsley.   Steve wants to be a Vampire, but Crepsley wants nothing to do with him.   Darren aggress to become half vampire (and be Crepsley’s assistant) in order to save his friend from the poisonous bite of a spider that Darren stole from Crepsley.   Then Creplsey fakes Darren’s death because he must keep his family safe from Mr. Tiny who has taken an interest in Darren.  

 

This is a world where vampires don’t kill and only the Vampanese do.  Darren is welcomed in by the camp of freaks that are different including the cute girl with the monkey’s tail, the Snake Boy, and the Madame Truscat (Salma Hayek) who grows a beard when she is aroused by the touch of a man.  Darren is thrust into a battle that may pit him against his best friend and where the vampires may have to fight.

 

ANALYSIS: 

CRIQUE DU FREAK- THE VAMPIRE’S ASSISTANT is a film that is full of wonderful characters and settings.   The big problem is that the movie spreads itself too thin while trying to get everything in.   This origin film could have been much more focused and maybe even a little longer.   CRIQUE DU FREAK seems like a skeleton with not enough muscles and fat.   Willem Dafoe is fine to see as a vampire, but he is wasted here with too little spent on his character (read big cameo).  Ken Watanabe is interesting as Mr. Tall and yet we don’t know much about him like everyone else.  We just know enough to know who is who and what their motives are.   This film is fine for a quick rental and not repeat viewings unless you want to reveal in the detail they went into creating the freak camp and the various characters.   CRIQUE DU FREAK is another misfire based on a popular kid’s novel series that fails to catch lightning in a bottle like Harry Potter did.

 

This movie review is (c)10-27-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  All Rights Reserved.  No vampire or freaks were harmed.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com