So real talk here, I have been dreading putting this post together. It meant having to rewatch this movie as well as gathering images that reminded me of how awful this is, not just as an adaptation of my favorite series but as a movie in general. Between the incredibly lackluster characters and the jarring story, even those who have never read Cirque Du Freak watched this movie and were left scratching their heads. Without rambling too much, I’ll take a look at what made this move such a disaster and an ultimate blemish on a fantastic series.
First and foremost, the movie makes the main character the most unlikable and unrelatable protagonist imaginable. Darren is meant to be the filter of the audience when it comes to the vampire world because he was just a normal kid. However, he still has his own unique voice and his nievity is part of what makes him endearing to the other characters. He learns from them and grows with them, which is why Darren is such an interesting character to follow through the series. In the movie, however, Darren is about as intersting as a wet plastic bag. He’s poorly written, acts like an idiot as opposed to just nieve, and the actor who portrayed him was incredibly flat and unengaging. It’s already a poor start to a movie when the main character is a turn off.
Even more disappointing than a sub par lead is a confusing story.
Cirque Du Freak takes place over the course of twelve books and roughly twenty years in the series. It’s a lot to cover, but having such an expansive setting makes it easy to go show everything that the author wanted to. The movie, on the other hand, tried to cram in half the series into one movie. It covers the basics of Darren becoming a vampire and joining the cirque, but it also brings in a character that doesn’t come in until the eighth book and tries to shoehorn in the entire conflict with that character which takes the entire last third of the series. I’m honestly surprised they didn’t try to shove the Vampire Council in as well, as if the audience wasn’t overloaded enough.
But maybe I’m being too harsh. Is there anything about this movie that is redeeming?
I want to say that the freaks look good, but they just don’t. There were both practical effects and CGI but it’s difficult to say which one is worse. Either the CG looks like something out of a bad PS2 game , such as Harkat, or the freaks just look unbelievable, like Evra looking like he was dunked in a tank of green glitter. This would have been a perfect chance for the movie to give at least some interesting visuals, but it couldn’t even muster that.
Usually when I make these reviews, I try to be as objective as possible by analyzing what’s poor or good about a series. But this, I couldn’t no matter how hard I tried. This movie is just bad. It’s not just a poor representation of the source material, but it’s just a bad movie in general. This isn’t even a movie that’s “so bad, it’s good”. There’s nothing interesting or entertaining when it comes to this one.