Tag Archives: darren shan

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant: I’d heard this movie was pretty bad, but when you’re on a fourteen-hour flight your movie-watching standards tend to go through the floor. But you know, it was actually a lot better than I’d feared. Two teenage best friends – one the perfect son and student, the other a trouble-making son of drunken and abusive parents – attend a freak show called Cirque du Freak. The perfect kid is obsessed with spiders; the troublemaker is obsessed with vampires. This isn’t brought up early enough in the film, and is in fact presented like an “oh by the way” to explain things that have already happened. Anyway, spiderboy steals freakshow spider, spider bites vampireboy, spiderboy has to make a deal with vampire to save vampireboy, serious rift forms between spiderboy and vampireboy. What saves this from sinking into cliche hell is that it is extremely self-aware. The teenagers and the freaks all know about horror movie stereotypes, and make some great comments that save the moment from turning to complete melodrama. The only unforgivably silly element is the vamp factions: the ones who drink blood without killing people are called vampires, and the ones who kill their victims are called vampaneze. Yes, it’s true to the book, but every time they said it I was all, “Really? I mean, really?” So while it was more than entertaining enough for a long flight, it’s not the sort of thing I would go out and rent. I am, however, interested in reading the books now.

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