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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars putting the vamp back into vampire
I can't help but notice that most of the negative reviews of this movie are squealing 'WAAA it's not like the books!' and not even mentioning why that's supposed to be a bad thing. Seriously. Where's the fun in translating one media identically into the other, with no changes? That's the joy of adapting a book series into a movie; so that two very different takes on the...
Published on 26 Nov. 2011 by TogekissWings

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I've changed my mind, 2 stars is too generous...
Worst... Casting... Ever...

The script is pretty flaky, seemingly only loosely based on a synopsis of the original books, however this is vastly overshadowed by the diabolical casting and hairdressing! Darren Shan is played by an odd looking kid with some weird 1970's haircut, Crepsley is portrayed as a baggy faced, Ronald McDonald-haired nerd with a strangely...
Published on 22 Aug. 2010 by Wibble


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I've changed my mind, 2 stars is too generous..., 22 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant [DVD] (DVD)
Worst... Casting... Ever...

The script is pretty flaky, seemingly only loosely based on a synopsis of the original books, however this is vastly overshadowed by the diabolical casting and hairdressing! Darren Shan is played by an odd looking kid with some weird 1970's haircut, Crepsley is portrayed as a baggy faced, Ronald McDonald-haired nerd with a strangely high-pitched voice, and apparently they couldn't find a fat actor to play the tubby bad dude so put some 'ham' into a fat-suit?

This is a difficult review to write, the temptation to simply say "don't bother, it's rubbish" is too strong, a film this bad doesn't really warrant the effort to review :/

If you've never read the books, please please please don't judge them based on this awful film! The vampire series by Darren Shan has been treated pretty badly, only the first three being released as audio books, and then this joke of a film. I just hope that the same crew aren't allowed to massacre any other books, especially not the Demonata series...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars putting the vamp back into vampire, 26 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant [DVD] (DVD)
I can't help but notice that most of the negative reviews of this movie are squealing 'WAAA it's not like the books!' and not even mentioning why that's supposed to be a bad thing. Seriously. Where's the fun in translating one media identically into the other, with no changes? That's the joy of adapting a book series into a movie; so that two very different takes on the same idea can exist. Harry Potter, just as an example - do the movies differ from the books? Yes! Are there moments from each which are notably absent from the the other, such as the SPEW campaign, and Hermione's touching dance with Harry? Yes! Do we love both as a result, as they each offer us a new depth to Rowling's incredible world? Of course we do!

Ranting aside, this movie was spectacular. I didn't have high hopes; let's just say the infamous T word has put me off young adult vampire fiction probably for ever. But there are (mercifully) no sparkles here; no emo angsting or absurd romances between bland, whiny characters who you wish would just snog and end our misery. Instead we have a fairly nice, normal young chap - hero Darren Shan - drawn into a horrible, dark, twisted world, and his edging-toward-psychotic best friend sucked in too...unfortunately ending up on the opposing sides. Josh Hutcherson, playing the soon-to-be-evil friend desperate to become immortal just to escape his unhappy home life, steals the show; his spotlight only diminishes whenever John C Reilly stalks onto the screen as the affably evil Crepsley. Amazing actor, amazingly sinister character.

Plenty of action, a suprising amount of believable pathos (including hero Darren's understated, awkward yet frankly adorable burgeoning crush for a monkey-tailed girl), and snarkily scripted black humour; I loved this movie, and I'll be so sad if they don't make a sequel. Highly recommended if you've lost faith in the dime-a-dozen teen vampire stories, love Tim Burton-esque wierdness, and want a bit of bite put back in your undead.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As a film in its own right, it's good - but deviates massively from the books, 14 Dec. 2009
By 
L. Green "Feltano" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant [DVD] (DVD)
Growing up, i absolutely adored Darren Shan's vampire saga. One of the best pieces of modern children's literature out there, they are a classic example of teen fiction done well. They blended the real with the fantastical perfectly, Darren's character evolving through the progressively darker and more mysterious books. They were perfection.

So when i heard there was a film of the books being released, i was overjoyed. But upon watching it, i was left disappointed. Now, The Vampire's Assistant is by no means a bad film, in fact it's a pretty good one - hence the 3 stars. But it strips away everything that's amazing about the books and leaves it by the wayside. The plot is only vaguely based on the books, rather than being a direct translation, it instead draws elements from the first three novels and stitches them together into a new story - the result being something rather rushed and unfulfilling.

The characters are not how i imagined either, gone are the dark overtones and rich sense of persona - replaced by cheesy caricatures. It's not all bad though, John C. Reilly is magnificent as Larten Crepsley - he's probably the best thing in the film, full stop, in fact. The rivalry between Darren and Steve is done nicely too. Ray Stevenson also puts in a good part as Murlough.

The film as a whole is decent enough. It's shot well and the lighting and sets all look good. Watch it without any prior knowledge of the books and it's a great teen action film - but unfortunately, for those that have read Darren Shan's epic vampire saga, like so many Hollywood adaptations of books, this falls way short of the mark.
Still worth a watch though!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a disappointment, 3 Feb. 2010
By 
B. Briggs (East Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant [DVD] (DVD)
Been a fan of the books of the darren shan vampire saga, i thought it would be brilliant if a film were to be made based on the books. How wrong I was.

This film is weak, the storyling is only vaguely related to the books, like the war between the vampires and the vampaneze, its good to have that still in there, but seriously, they have made a hash of everything else. It is nowhere near as dark as it should be, two of the characters are missing (if you have read the books you will notice which two) and it just didn't flow like it should have done. It was like someone had taken parts of the three books, cut them out, stuck them together, and shoved it on a film reel.

The only good things about this film was the brilliant acting by John C. Reilly as Larten Crepsley, he captured the character excellently, making him the sarcastic, quick tempered father figure we all loved in the book. The other good thing about this film was the end credits, showing that the film had come to an end, the fight between Darren and Steve at the end was not even worth the money I paid to see it in the cinema, and the storyline was just so sucky, a vampire wouldn't give it a second bite.

If you haven't read the books and have no idea whats going on, then it is a good film to watch, but for us seasoned readers and fans of Mr Shan, I think i speak for us all when I say that this film could have been miles better, and kept to the books just that little bit more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely Disappointed, 26 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant [DVD] (DVD)
Before this film was released i read the entire series of Darren Shan books and thought they were brilliant. When i heard about a film i couldn't wait to see it.

I was really disappointed. I knew there would be some differences but this is completely different. I really wouldn't mind if it wasn't for the fact that some of the best parts of the book are not included in the film and a large number of characters including The entire Vampire council, Sam Grest and RV are in the books but not in the film.

Overall i did not enjoy this film and i do not recommend buying it. Instead i would recommend you read the books.

Thank you for reading and i hope this review helps you make the right choice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A messy attempt at bringing a great story to life, 14 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant [DVD] (DVD)
I rate this film 2 stars, having seen it in the cinema. I cannot decide whether this is too harsh or not harsh enough.

For a start, the actual film isn't terrible, it's enough to hold some interest I guess. As a huge fan of the books, naturally I was disappointed since it was only loosely based on the books, and the casting was poor enough to ruin my perception of the characters masterfully created in the books. Reilly was an awful choice for Mr Crepsley in my opinion since he is usually starring in films is a complete idiot so the whole dark side to him is lost. I think whilst it is impossible to completely recreate everything in the books, the fact they made up a new key character and made her Darren's love interest was just annoyingly painful for hardcore Darren Shan fans. The film is also too comical and also not dark enough for the fans of the books.

I did not give this film one star because it was not a complete disaster, as I said the film is enjoyable enough at points. Some younger children will find this an enjoyable film. However my main bone to pick with this film is that it just seems like it has no proper target audience. As far as I know, in the UK this film is rated a 12. The problem here is that the film would be more appealing to younger children, yet they cannot access it since it has a 12 rating, yet the film is not sinister or unnerving enough to satisfy any teen audiences above 12. As a result, the film is incredibly hit or miss with audiences. Yet most likely a miss, since young children who should be enjoying it are restricted from viewing it, teenagers will find it too childish, and die-hard Darren Shan fans will be disappointed by the deviation from the plot. In fact, as I write this conclusion, I think I answered my original question of "is 2 stars not harsh enough?" I think I was being too kind now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, but take care if you enjoy the books, 21 Mar. 2010
By 
Kristin "I read so I don't kill people!" (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant [DVD] (DVD)
The film is a good standalone film, fine for teenagers and adults to watch together. What they have done though is take a series of events spread throughout the series of the books, and mixed them in with some new characters and scenarios. This may or may not really annoy you. I quite like the douglas adams approach where each film, radio, book and TV series was different, and stood on their own. However some people hate this, and want things kept exactly true to the stories they have read and loved, and if this fits you then you probably wont enjoy the film! The film also gives away some stuff you only find out about in much later books than Cirque Du Freak, so wait till you have finished the books if you don't like spoilers.

Finally it has a very unique take on Vampires and how they are made, live and just about everything else. This might be confusing to some youngsters if they arent used to worlds with different rules. However the new ways of this world are explained clearly and not in any patronising way, so its easy to pick them up as you go along.

So be warned, and if the above doesn't put you off, then enjoy a really good film with some excellent characters and effects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darker than Harry Potter, 12 Mar. 2010
By 
PJ Rankine (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I've only read the first book in the series and that was generally dealt with in the first half of the film so I don't know how the rest of the adaptation goes but viewers shouldn't always relate the films to the books that inspired them. As a stand alone piece there was nothing wrong with this film at all, I enjoyed it all apart from Chris Massoglia's unfortunate nasal tones. It was exciting and funny at times and treated the freaks of the titular Cirque with sympathy and dignity. Overall it was great entertainment and from first impressions if it turns into a series then it should be less repetitive than Harry Potter. The transfer to blu ray is first class although its presented in wide screen and the audio track is excellent. The start up was rather slow and I was suprised to see it link straight into BD live and download a feature about the new 'pocket Blu' app for smartphones. It has a good selection of extras including 36 deleted scenes. I would like to have had the option to re-introduce these to the main feature as a lot of them dealt with life in the Cirque. Definitely worth the cost of a blu ray this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's not a book, get over it! This is about the FILM..., 8 Dec. 2014
By 
Inigo (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
If you like a visually attractive, dark yet funny film this is it. If you insist on meticulous (sometimes borderline OCD) comparison to a book you should realise you will *always* be disappointed: a movie adaptation will inevitably differ from what is basically your personal interpretation of the written word. So please, do yourself a favour and let that notion go. "Loosely based upon" is all you'll get in this film and many others. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing, as long as you view the film as the separate and individual medium that it is. (If you can't do that, be happy with the books you love so much and leave the films to be enjoyed by people who love to see them. It's not rocket science...)

The atmosphere in this film is great, pleasantly freaky, colourful and circus-like, instead of the as bleak as ubiquitous 'pale emo-teen-vampire with dating issues' routine. There's also little or no gore and only a moderate amount of blood. Tension comes from the plot rather than classic shock-horror effects and the film is more of a dark comedy than a 'take itself serious' horror/vampire flick. However, Cirque du Freak certainly manages to grab - and keep - your attention. You have to give the makers credit for creating something different and original. The acting is good to great, with only a few minor flaws among some minor characters. One only wishes that the genius of the great and famous actors had been given more screen time. These A-listers are a tad under used, it seems. But all in all it's a very entertaining and attractive film, worth watching and collecting On bluray.
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2.0 out of 5 stars nothing to do with the books!, 28 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant [DVD] (DVD)
Having read the saga of Darren Shan I was excited and looking forward to seeing this film in cinemas. However a few minutes in I knew that the movie wasn't going to have anything to do with the books and so true I was. The Movie is basically some of the key points in the first book and a bit of the third book thrown in there. They have destroyed the plot and idea of the book (spoilers)!! firstly Darren wasn't meant to meet his friend Steve again towards the end of the saga secondly he was never supposed to see his family again bar his sisters towards the end of the saga and thirdly the have picked of random characters from later on in the saga and stuck them into this movie for no reason. I got to meet Darren Shan (the author of the saga) at a school book signing and interview at a local theater and I got to ask him for his opinion on the new movie he said that he was well aware that the movie hadn't much at all to do with the books and understood that. he also added that he believes there will not be a second adaptation of the movies due to all the negative feedback received and it hasn't made enough money either. The movie, I think would be enjoyable for anyone who hasn't read the books everyone that has read the books seems to have pretty negative thoughts on the movie. Yes it is enjoyable and has some funny parts in it with a good cast but for me I believe that movies aren't going to continue. Im not much of a critic and im only 13 but I wasnt happy with the movie.
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