4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
putting the vamp back into vampire,
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.