Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Rated 3.0

The Vampire’s Assistant revolves around a freak show, complete with bearded lady (Salma Hayek), snake boy (Patrick Fugit) and monkey girl (Jessica Carlson). And, of course, vampires. The story is centered on two best friends—Steve (Josh Hutcherson), a problem child, and Darren (Chris Massoglia), a golden boy. One day walking to school they spy a flier for a freak show coming to town and decide to go. From there, a spider bite sends Steve to the hospital and Darren running to the spider’s owner, Crepsley (John C. Reilly), a centuries-old vampire. A pact is made and, voila! Darren becomes Crepsley’s assistant and is forced to leave his family behind and join in the freak show. The premise is a bit silly, but once the film gets moving, the story and its characters truly come to life. The freak camp becomes a living museum reminiscent of old-time circus shows. And an enemy, in the form of “Mr. Tiny” (Michael Cervaris), threatens to crash the party and break a century-old truce between two factions of vampires. Cliché, but fun. Feather River Cinemas and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13