I had the rare opportunity to go to an early screening of the Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, which opens for lesser mortals today. Having read the first book long ago, I had only a vague memory of the plot. No matter.

What do I want in a movie?

Fast paced adventure?    Check!

A sense of humor?          Check!

No shaky hand held cameras?   Check!

No intrusive “author’s message”?   Check!

A real movie critic might quibble about the slight story line and thin premise, but I am here to say lighten up, it was fun. John C. Reilly as the vampire was alternately menacing and sweet (I know — just go with it). The lead teen was understated as the perfect high-schooler whose life gets turned upside down. The supporting characters were fantastic; I am in love with the snake boy.

A heads-up for language and violence; yeah that’s why it is PG-13. The language was more an exclamation point in the witty dialog and the fight scenes were more cartoonish than scary.

So as a good friend of mine would say, the movie is a great advertisement for the books.

[To see a larger version of the trailer, go to the official movie Web site]


The Vampire’s Assistant and Other Tales from the Cirque Du Freak (The Saga of Darren Shan)
Darren Shan
Retail Price: $12.99
Paperback: 720 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers – (2009-09-15)
ISBN / EAN: 031605240X / 9780316052405

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