Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
Paul Weitz and Brian Helgeland
John C. Reilly,
14-year-old Darren (Chris Massoglia) was like most kids in his suburban neighborhood. He hung out with his best friend, got decent grades and usually stayed out of trouble. But when he and his buddy stumble upon a traveling freak show, things begin to change inside Darren. Thatís the exact moment when a vampire named Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) turns him into something, well, bloodthirsty.
Newly undead, he joins the "Cirque Du Freak," a touring sideshow filled with monstrous creatures from a snakeboy and a wolfman to a bearded lady (Salma Hayek) and a gigantic barker (Ken Watanabe). As Darren flexes his newfound powers in this dark world, he becomes a treasured pawn between the vampires and their deadlier counterparts. And while trying to survive, one boy will struggle to keep their brewing war from devouring whatís left of his humanity.
"Cirque Du Freak" tells the frightening tale of a boy who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.
There are a few strong slang remarks used for male genitalia and testicles, and although the violence is seldom very bloody, there is just a whole lot of it in the movie. We are therefore unable to award our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal to this film. Look no further than "Astro Boy" right now for wholesome and imaginative entertainment for your family.
This movie probably has more fighting in it than dialog, which says something about how well the dialog is written. It is not as funny as some would hope, relying instead on the biting, punching, stabbing, and physical moments, some which are played for laughs but some of which could quite possibly frighten younger viewers. It is definitely written as dark humor, and unfortunately it is in the language and violence categories which the movie fails in terms of being a family-friendly film.
Sex: Talk which suggests a hint of looking at internet porn; passionate kissing.
Language: F****ed Up (Not spoken, might stand for Freaked)-1; S-5; A-4; H-4; D-2; Crap-2; G/OMG-4; Good Lord-1; Slang for male genitals-1; Slang for testicles-1
Violence: A lot of violence, much of it fantasy like but some looking quite realistic; a spider is crushed in a character's hand; rocks are thrown at lights on school roof; a character bites a character's hand but with no blood seen; werewolf bites off an arm; a character is stabbed with a knife; a spider bites a man on face; a character breaks the neck of another character; character hit on leg with shovel; more fights; headstones are broken and thrown at various characters; a crushed piece of paper is thrown into a teacher's face; a girl kisses a man and then slaps him; a character is running and runs right into a sign; two characters chew on a finger; more fights; a stabbing with a knife; vampire holds a severed head.
Drugs: Drinking in a few scenes.
Nudity: Strong cleavage in a few scenes.
Other: Disrespect shown toward a teacher; dark images and vampires; some quick "jump" scenes which might scare young viewers.