Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

2009 PG-13 1h 49m Blu-ray / DVD

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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

2009 PG-13 1h 49m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Things get freaky fast for 16-year-old Darren Shan (Chris Massoglia) when his friend takes him to a circus that's chockfull of sideshow oddities. There, he meets vampire Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) and receives a life-changing bite on the neck.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
English SDH, French, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
English SDH, French, Spanish (Neutral)
English: DTS 5.1 HD, French-Canadian: DTS 5.1 Surround, Spanish (Neutral): DTS 5.1 Surround, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
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age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that amped-up violence and language make The Vampire's Assistant movie too mature for younger tween fans of the Cirque du Freak books it's based on. There are several disturbing scenes of vampires stabbing, punching, kicking, and otherwise wiping the floor with each other (although none of it gets particularly gory), along with potentially disturbing images of circus "freaks" and fairly regular use of words like "s--t," "a--hole," and the like. Although the sexuality is on the mild side (especially for a vampire tale), there are a few kisses and a brief glimpse of the protagonist about to suck blood from a willing love interest.

Sexual Content

A couple of embraces and kisses between Crepsley and Madame Truska (as well as a joke about her beard growing out as a sign of arousal) and Alexander and Jane. Chaste flirting between Darren and Rebecca and a lips-only kiss (which does make her monkey tail stand on end...).


Although many of the fight scenes are slightly comic, there's plenty of violence, including stabbings with knives and swords, fistfights, kicking/stomping, slashings with vampire nails, and the protagonist having his neck broken for the sake of faking his death. Most of it isn't gory or bloody (surprising for a vampire movie!), but it's still fairly dark. There are also possibly disturbing scenes of the titular "freaks" (a girl with a monkey tail, a boy who's green/scaly like a snake, a man with two bellies, a woman who can rip off her limbs and regenerate them, a man with no skin covering his lower abdomen/ribs, a Bearded Lady, and more.). And those who are afraid of spiders will have several "look away" moments.


Several uses of the word "s--t" and its cousins "bulls--t" and "holy s--t/crap," as well as a few utterances of "a--hole," "ass," "hell," "dick," "oh my God," and milder insults like "jerk," "wimp," "stupid," and "idiot."

Social Behavior

Kids can learn about self-awareness, sacrifice, and courage through Darren transformation's from regular teenager to half vampire. Crepsley, despite being centuries-old and curmudgeonly, demonstrates the importance of not being completely self absorbed. Together, and with the help of the circus folk, they triumph over a looming threat.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Adults and vampires drink socially on a couple of occasions.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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