User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 84
  2. Negative: 25 out of 84

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User Reviews

  1. SandyS
    Oct 23, 2009
    5
    Movie was too mixed up... Didn't go along with the books.. Where in the world did Monkey girl come in? Very disappointing.. Love the books! Movie, not so much!
  2. ChadS.
    Oct 24, 2009
    4
    While repeating his parents' warning against having a friend like Steve(Josh Hutcherson), a bad influence by their own estimation, "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" makes an allusion to bohemianism, the rejection of ISAs(ideological state apparatuses), in which "college, job, [and], family", the goals that all people are programmed to aspire towards, don't seem to While repeating his parents' warning against having a friend like Steve(Josh Hutcherson), a bad influence by their own estimation, "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" makes an allusion to bohemianism, the rejection of ISAs(ideological state apparatuses), in which "college, job, [and], family", the goals that all people are programmed to aspire towards, don't seem to be Darren's goals, as the boy satirizes his father's mantra of mass conformity. This satirical moment loses its bite, however, since Darren(Chris Massoglia) has no choice in the matter, the matter of secession from the living, when he agrees to the conditions of the pact he makes with Crepsley(John C. Reilly), who turns the boy into a vampire; his compensation for saving Steve's life. It's Steve, not Darren, who's transfixed by vampire iconography, so when this sheltered boy rebels against the dad, he's actually expressing his friend's reservations about societal norms. Since "The Vampire's Assistant" is fitted with the calibration of a light comedy, Fred seems neither happy nor particularly sad about being dead. The film lacks a corresponding scene that directly addresses the boy's burlesquing of his father. Was he, or was he not, an anarchist(or a nihilist) in the making? The film, instead, occupies itself with the ongoing schism between the two factions of vampires, and gives short-shrift to the schism within Fred's half-human/half-vampire self. But if these pacifist breed of vampires have no murderous intent, where's the drama in losing your humanity, since your inhumane side, is humane? Expand
  3. Lex
    Sep 17, 2010
    4
    Sep 17, 2010
    Lex
    4 Visiting a traveling freak show, 16 year-old, Darren is turned into a vampire. Half-vampire, half-human he joins the Cirque du Freak and descends into a fantastic life with a sideshow of fabulous freaks and as war looms between the Vampires and the Vampaneze (who kill whomever they feed on), his bravery will become humanity's last hope. This film by Paul Weitz did not
    Sep 17, 2010
    Lex
    4
    Visiting a traveling freak show, 16 year-old, Darren is turned into a vampire. Half-vampire, half-human he joins the Cirque du Freak and descends into a fantastic life with a sideshow of fabulous freaks and as war looms between the Vampires and the Vampaneze (who kill whomever they feed on), his bravery will become humanity's last hope. This film by Paul Weitz did not meet my expectation to be a good vampire-based or let's just say... a bunch-of-freaks-based flick. Mediocre, that's my word for this one. Weitz did a nice job of making "In Good Company", but this one should be his spectacular movie of all time, and did NOT. Hmmmm... If I may say, this is like another 'no-making any sense' film like 'Batman & Robin' by Joe Schumacher. The books that make this movie possible were great, but the film didn't. The story focuses on two characters: Darren (Massoglia) and his bestfriend, Steve (Hutcherson). Darren, the one that favors spiders and Steve, the one that adores books about Vampires, and all crap breaks loose when jealousy comes up to one of them. It's just what we have hoped for, two bestfriends fighting for what they believed in. And one of them falls in love with a freak, a pretty freak, of course. The only notable characters were Steve, Crepsley, Murlough, and Mr. Tiny. But none of them got a clear brief of their past story and that's the main big hole of the story in the movie. Disappointing. I'm not being rude but, Paul Weitz did a mediocre job of making an adaptation of Darren Shan's book. Too many lacking detail of the story, especially the background briefed story of each character. Putting aside Weitz, Chris Massoglia (Darren Shan) did a horrible act as the main character in the film. I mean, look at his face; he even barely makes an expression, he looks like having a blank face, like day-dreaming or some kind. John Reilly (Crepsley) did a good job, also Ray Stevenson (Murlough). And the only person who saved all the acting problem was Josh Hutcherson (Steve), he did a fine job modeling out his role like all other antagonist role out there, not awesome, but nice. My conclusion? MEDIOCRE. That's it, with the lack of details and horrible acts (aside from Hutcherson), it should have been a direct-to-DVD.
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  4. Oct 15, 2011
    4
    Much of the potential of the book series is wasted here and replaced by the ordinary-kid-gets-extraordinary-powers story. Although the acting isn't particularly bad, there is no spark between characters and no one appears to be at ease. The story is uneven and the ending is unsatisfying. Too much time devoted to light comedy and not enough to the darker themes present in the books.Much of the potential of the book series is wasted here and replaced by the ordinary-kid-gets-extraordinary-powers story. Although the acting isn't particularly bad, there is no spark between characters and no one appears to be at ease. The story is uneven and the ending is unsatisfying. Too much time devoted to light comedy and not enough to the darker themes present in the books. Characters are shallow, with no development. The special effects are decent and some action scenes are done well. Apart from that, there is not much to recommend about this movie. Expand
  5. Aug 1, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When this first came out, we had a group of young couples that wanted to go to the drive-in. I donâ Expand
  6. May 11, 2012
    6
    Like they say, there is corny dialogue. At the same time it has quite of bit of action and it is somewhat funny. The only problem is that there has yet to be a sequel to this that answers the questions we still have.
  7. Apr 12, 2016
    5
    From watching John C. Reilly over the years, in everything from 'Hoffa' and 'Dolores Claiborne' when he was developing his craft, to 'Step Brothers' and 'Carnage', in which he was one of the leading actors that the film was centered on, I really wanted this film to work for me, though I feel in this recent glut of cinema spawned from Hollywood's post-'Twilight' obsession with vampires,From watching John C. Reilly over the years, in everything from 'Hoffa' and 'Dolores Claiborne' when he was developing his craft, to 'Step Brothers' and 'Carnage', in which he was one of the leading actors that the film was centered on, I really wanted this film to work for me, though I feel in this recent glut of cinema spawned from Hollywood's post-'Twilight' obsession with vampires, that someone really needs to give this trend a coffin rest, at least for a while so creative fires can have a chance to rekindle--it seems to have been done to death. I'm sure this wasn't what Bram Stoker had in mind with his original 'Dracula'. There's nothing in these recent CGI-bloated messes meaty enough to sink one's teeth into. I'm sure Dr. Alucard himself is cursing the day he was granted immortality, if only to avoid his local multiplex, for this very reason.

    Like another recent film I tried to get into, but basically flew off the rails in an enormous video game-like tidal wave of effects I neither wanted nor needed to see ('Your Highness' by David Gordon Green), the filmmakers ill-advisedly thought that the audience had to be captivated by fights and chases galore, but it's like seeing yet another explosion in a Michael Bay movie: Just give me: a) Great presence in an actor, for once, like the Sir Christopher Lees, Sir Peter Cushings, Vincent Prices, Boris Karloffs and Bela Lugosis of yesteryear; b) A story worth telling; and c) A director who knows a thing or two about storytelling--otherwise, I'd rather boycott drinking blood, and simply switch, at least for contemporary film, to a different cup of tea. I'm not surprised whatsoever that this didn't do well at the box office, and that filmmakers decided not to continue with the franchise. Even for vampires, sometimes enough is enough for a lifetime.
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Metascore
43

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    40
    The Vampire's Assistant is too busy making impossible claims about just how spectacular its sequels will be to serve up a self-contained story with a satisfying finale.
  2. 40
    Directed by Paul Weitz (American Pie), the movie suffers from the same tonal schizophrenia of that other recent goth wannabe, "Jennifer's Body": Is it meant to be scary or funny? Oops, it's neither.
  3. Subplots go nowhere, and characters -- many played by well-known actors -- barely get screen time. Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, and Jane Krakowski are among those who are there and gone.