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Customer Review

29 of 31 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
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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Mar 2010 21:02:25 GMT
thanks for this, as a huge fan of the books growing up I wasn't sure whether it would be a waste of money but I'll give it a shot!

Posted on 16 Jul 2010 00:16:29 BDT
Harry Ryan says:
It's hard to believe I've only just discovered the books, but I've read the first three and I was wondering whether the film could live up to them, thanks for the review, I think I'll order the film and see how it is!
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