Posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 by Brendon Connelly
Universal have released the first trailer for Paul Weitz‘ Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and contrary to my previous expectations, I rather enjoyed it. You can see it for yourself after the break and agree/disagree. The film stars John C. Reilly as a big boss vampire and Chris Massoglia as his protege. Amongst the supporting cast are Patrick Fugit, Salma Hayek, Ken Watanabe and Willem Defoe, each of them a ‘freak’ of some kind.
The film is an adaptation of books by Darren Shan which is, funnily enough, also the name of our lead protagonist. So, is this a work of autobiography or is Shan using a pseudonym? As if there could possibly be any confusion. His real name, for the record, is Darren O’Shaughnessy.The series of books are known as The Saga of Darren Shan, and the first two are known as Cirque du Freak and then The Vampire’s Assistant. If I’d read them I’d be able to point out where the material in this trailer actually comes from, but I haven’t so I have to depend on all of you to help me out instead.
Watch the trailer in high definition on moviefone.
My favorite bit of the trailer is Reilly’s delivery of “No, that’s bull” but his reading of “Yes, you have super spit” ran a close second. Less successful are the CG effects. Indeed, I was quite taken with how handsome the trailer was until the CG started poking me in the eye and it took some squinting to see past it at points. Kudos to cinematographer J. Michael Muro who, if there’s any justice, should see his career really blossom now.
The vampires in this particular set up are somewhat different than what we’re used to. Firstly, they aren’t dead or even unded but simply alive. Secondly, they are no more inherently evil than ‘normal’ humans. Thirdly, they don’t even have fangs and instead use their sharp nails to make incisions in their victims, who they later patch up with a bit of medicinal saliva.
So far, it would look like Chris is seeded ahead of Twilight Saga: New Moon director Paul in the 2010 Weitz’ Bros. vampire movie showdown… but I’m thinking Paul’s probably got a trick or two up his sleeve too.