Friday, 23 October 2009

REVIEW: Cirque Du Freak

Unlike most people, I do not enjoy being cynical its more that I'm forced into it by extenuating circumstances. Like the existence of this movie, which is Hollywood making a less then subtle attempt to jump on the vampire/Twilight gravy train. Its about vampires, sure but I think this film and its source novel owe a larger debt to Harry Potter. Because the stories are pretty similar. Unremarkable boy develops powers and goes to live in secret with similarly stricken freaks. Its a strange movie for what it is, occasionally veering into darker territory but remaining very much a kids movie at the same time. Its not a great movie by any means, and its two teen leads bland up the screen, but I still preferred it to twilight somehow. Man that movie sucked.

The plot is so weak its barely worth explaining, its something to do with best friends Darren and Steve, A freak-show, some kind of vampire civil war seen only in painful exposition and some kind of Vampire apprenticeship. The best thing about this movie is the unusual but effective casting of John C Reilly as Darren's vampire mentor. Whilst every-one around him is busy either being a whitebread teen or hamming it up for money, Reilly plays it pleasantly low-key and thus saves the film from being the complete waste of time the combined skills of the script and director Paul Weitz had tried so hard for it to be. Willem Dafoe is a bit of a misfire, but its an awful role, Salma Hayek continues to be unable to give a good performance in a mainstream film. I've seen Frida and know she can be a good actress when she wants to be, so how come in every Hollywood film she appears in of late she is so bad. It mystifies me.

If you love vampire films to the point where its scary you could get something out of this film, but those of you not so enamored with all things blood-sucker may want to give this tepid movie a miss

Rating: 5/10

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