After a sideshow vampire (John C. Reilly) turns a teenager into one of the undead, the kid becomes a pawn between warring supernatural factions.
" Mixing horror and comedy while minimizing the gore, writer-director Paul Weitz serves up a witty adventure fantasy with a tasty dollop of schadenfreude. "
" Perhaps best of all, the movie doesn't take itself too seriously. It's creepy but tinged with sarcasm and infused with silly fun. "
" The script, by Brian Helgeland and director Paul Weitz, frequently strays off course, though the underlying story is always compelling. And, just like Twilight, this movie doesn't end so much as beg to be continued. "
" There are also so many characters that some barely register, while others - like our teen hero - are just unlikeable. It's very energetic, but a more relaxed sequel, in which everyone has fun, might be a big improvement. "
" A vampire movie in sore need of a transfusion. "
" An inept fantasy that wants to be a sort of hip Goth legend... "
" Cirque du Freak is disjointed and disorganized, and it meanders when it needs to gallop. "
" Harry Potter needn't call time out on his Quidditch game, and Edward Cullen can stick to his beauty rest. "
" It's clear that the filmmakers had a hard time adapting Darren Shan's books, made the movie way too long and then hacked indiscriminately at the last minute. Some important scenes are cut off abruptly, and others seem to be missing altogether. "
" Jammed with story threads that don't cohere, Cirque commits the cardinal sin for a vampire movie: It's bloodless. "
" Tests its viewers' patience even as it strives to build their loyalty. "
" The film can't decide whether it's an earnest fantasy flick or a quirky horror comedy, or whether it's meant for kids or adults -- no wonder it appears to have two titles. "
" The film shuffles together episodes from the first three volumes of the 12-book Cirque saga, which may explain its rushed, patchy feel. It unfurls like a series of skits. "
" The movie has no sense of magic or fun; the characters never seem to have anything at stake. It's just a lot of computer graphics and gleefully hamming-it-up actors. "
" This is one of the worst films of the year. "
" Unfortunately Weitz can't quite get a handle on what the film should be, despite teaming up with the talented Brian Helgeland on the script. "
" Unreeling like a feature-length trailer, 'Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant' suffers from premature sequelitis. "
" We never get under the skin of anyone here. Freaks never become characters. They're objects of derision. "
" While it celebrates the creative and the imagined and introduces us to colorful characters, it's bland and dull. "
SIGN UP FOR THE REELZ NEWSLETTER: