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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant [2009] [PG-13] - 4.7.4



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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Film adaptation of the young adult fiction series "The Saga of Darren Shan": a young man (Chris Massoglia) finds himself in a difficult situation since he has to become a half-vampire to save the life of his best friend (Josh Hutcherson). After being taken under the wing of a vampire (John C. Reilly), he begins to discover the pros and cons of vampire immortality. Also with Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayak, Jane Krakowski and Ken Watanabe. Directed by Paul Weitz. [1:48]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A woman feeds a man cake frosting from her fingertip, he suggestively licks it off, and she cracks her finger off (no blood seen) and places it in her mouth; the man licks the finger hanging from the woman's mouth and then kisses her deeply, and the finger is in his mouth as well.
 A teenage boy and a teenage girl kiss passionately and we see a long tail rise and curl from under her skirt. A woman kisses a teenage boy passionately, and then pulls away quickly and slaps him. A man and a woman argue, the man places his arms around the woman, they kiss passionately as he caresses her face.
 A woman wearing a cleavage-exposing outfit grabs a teenage boy, pulls him on stage, and begins to caress his face as she stands between his legs -- she bows deeply and we see her cleavage. A teenage girl pulls down the shoulder of her shirt, exposing a bra strap, and offers a teenage boy to drink her blood for strength. A man describes a woman as "voluptuous" to a crowd of people, and the woman is seen wearing a form-fitting, cleavage-exposing outfit. A woman sits in a crowd, next to a teenage boy, wearing a cleavage-exposing top. A teenage girl is seen wearing a short skirt and opaque tights underneath. A woman wears a cleavage-exposing, low-cut top.
 A man strokes the leg of an obese woman that is bound and gagged and calls her "juicy" (referring to drinking her blood). A man tells a woman she is beautiful and lovingly touches her cheek. A woman offers a man cake frosting to lick from her fingertip, the man ignores her come-on and she beings to cry after being rejected.
 A teenage girl looks at a teenage boy and tells him to take off his pants; he looks surprised, she instructs him to put on a different pair because his current pair is ripped, and the girl smoothes the boy's new pants and comments on how well they fit (we do not see the boy changing).
 A teenage boy climbs into bed, wedging himself between a man and a woman, and the woman looks at the boy and pats him on the knee in a nonsexual manner.
 A man implies that he has found pornography in the bedroom of a teenage boy, comments that he is surprised since "it's now typically found online" and the teen boy responds that his internet is "blocked for that." A man and teenage boy joke about a man's relationship failing. A teenage boy asks a man his opinion about liking a girl who may have a tail, and the man jokes and says that he didn't think he would be in a situation where he would be in love with a woman who has a beard, but now he enjoys the stubble.

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A man pushes another man over a balcony, he tumbles to the ground and we see a dagger sticking out of his chest and another out of his leg: the first man pulls the dagger out of the man's chest and hands it to a teenage boy, offering that he can deal the deathblow to the man on the ground, but the boy is tackled by another teen boy before he does anything and the wounded man pulls the bloody knife from his leg and struggles to stand up (his face covered is in blood).
 Two men throw a dagger back and forth between them, they each catch the dagger inches from their faces and lick their hands (we do not see blood), one of them lunges at the other, sinking his teeth into the man's arm, they wrestle, jump from one area to another, tackling and throwing one another against walls, and causing chairs to fly and narrowly avoid hitting a small group of people that's bound and gagged on a stage.
 A teenage boy takes a drink from a vial, says that his lips and fingertips feel numb, passes out, and a man grabs the boy's shoulders, cracks the boys neck, and sends the body tumbling down a rooftop to the ground; the man calls out that he plans on straightening the boy's body and not to worry because he is not really dead.
 A man and a teenage boy appear in the middle of a busy highway, a truck barrels down the road, a third person appears, the man and the boy disappear, leaving the other man to be slammed into by the truck, the truck comes to a screeching halt, the driver runs to the bloodied body on the side of the road, and the body stirs and attacks the driver.
 A "wolfman" growls angrily and approaches a crowd, snarling, pauses, and scratches his behind (we hear a teenage boy crudely joke that he thinks the wolfman had scratched his genitalia) before pouncing on a woman in the crowd, and ripping her arm off as the crowd shouts and gathers around the woman; the wolfman trots back to a stage, drops the blood-covered arm, the woman stands up and reassures the crowd that she is fine, holding up her bloodied stub, which then transforms into a completely intact arm (she picks up the bloodied arm, kisses the hand and walks off).
 A man asks a teenage boy if he is prepared to die, and strikes the boy, who falls to the ground and is surrounded by several men who appear to be beating the fallen boy.
 A wolfman lunges at a small group of men, they beat him as he tears at their clothes and bodies, and a man carrying a 2x4 and another holding a large knife approach (we hear two people making threats about biting off the men's noses and making a crude remark about a man's head).
 A teenage boy shouts at another teenage boy, grabs his arm, tells him that he will have to kill his family to save his friends who are all bound and gagged, the teen boy refuses and the other teen boy grabs him and slams him into a stack of tables.
 A creature flies through the air and crashes into a man, they fight, throwing one another across a cemetery, knocking over tombstones, and punching one another in the stomach; one bites the other, and one knocks the other into an open tomb.
 A man tackles a teenage boy, who's hiding in a tomb, tucks him into a bag and runs through the cemetery; another man picks up a tombstone, breaks it in half, and flings it, like a Frisbee, knocking the boy out of the man's arms.
 We see a teenage girl, a man, a woman and a young girl tied up, gagged and hanging from a long rope, and dangling over an open stage. A man attacks a teen boy to show how defenseless the boy is, sweeping him against a tree and then slamming him to the ground; the boy stops the man's fist as he tries to strike him.
 A man instructs a boy to hold his hands up to his so they can swap blood (we see small cuts on the boy's fingertips); the man warns the boy that it may hurt when his blood gets to the boy's heart, the boy reels in pain, the man instructs him to lick the small wounds on his hand, and the boy hungrily licks the wounds and they instantly close, leaving behind faint scar tissue.
 A teenage boy swings a tailor's dummy at a man who attempts to storm into a room: the boy uses the dummy as a weapon, whacking two men in the stomach with it, then hitting one of the men in the head, throws the dummy at a man who falls to the ground, and grabs an iron and smashes it into the face of a man (we see two large cuts on the man's forehead and cheek).
 A man grabs a teenage boy by the collar and shakes him slightly. A man grabs two teenage boys standing outside a tent and drags them through the tent opening. A teenage boy runs through a theater after stealing a spider, exits the theater, a car pulls up alongside him and he is pulled inside the car and wedged between two large men. A man grabs a teenage boy by the collar and pulls him up to a standing-up position.
 A man digs up a grave in a cemetery, he strikes the coffin, cracks it open to reveals a teenage boy that's alive: the man pulls the boy out, tells him to fill in the dirt, the boy argues, and the man strikes him on the calf with a shovel and the boy yelps in pain.
 A man tells a teenage boy that he must drink blood if he is going to survive, and he will merely knock a person out and drink a small amount: he demonstrates by sneaking behind a man, lightly blowing in the man's face, the man to drops to the ground, and he instructs the teenage boy to make a small cut on the man's collarbone and take a drink; the boy protests, the man pricks the unconscious man on the neck and licks the speck of blood that appears.
 A teenage boy walks into a room, sees a coffin in the corner, and it opens slightly when he places his hand on it. A teenage boy shouts at the body of another teenage boy, laid out in a coffin, shaking the deceased boy's shoulders. We see a flash of a teenage boy lying in a coffin.
 A teenage boy punches another teenage boy in the face, causing him to drop to the ground. A teenage boy throws a wad of paper at a man's face. A teenage boy swings, attempting to hit a man in the face.
 A teenage boy shouts and jumps back as an unseen creature bites his hand (he jerks his hand up and puts it in his mouth, wincing in pain). A man tells a teenage boy that killing a person "wouldn't be a shame," pulls a hair from the boy's head (the boy yelps), and a man holds the boy back.
 A teenage boy offers his hand to a vampire, saying that there was blood on it (we do not see the blood) and that the vampire should want to drink it; the vampire tells the boy that he will try the blood, he touches his finger to the boy's hand, then to his lips (we do not see any blood), spits it out and says that the boy has "evil blood." A teenage boy and a man climb the side of a building and into a hospital room where we see a teenage boy lying, comatose, and we see a huge necrotic welt on his face (his face is gray-tinged and the discoloring carries through the boy's neck and down his arm); the man plunges a dirty looking fingernail into the boy's vein, a small speck of blood pools to the surface, the man drinks the blood, and the discoloring in the boy's face fades (we later see the comatose boy, fully recovered, with only a small scar on his face where the welt had been).
 A man tells a teenage boy that he needs to drink another boy's blood in order to turn him into a vampire; the man takes the boy's hand, holds his fingers up to his mouth and the man explains that he does not need to get the boy's jugular, because he is not trying to kill him. A man angrily looks at a teenage boy and then swipes his hand over his face and we see cuts on his skin disappear.
 We see a zoom-through of the anatomy of a teenage boy's arm, including blood vessels shaped like spiders and vampires.
 A man stands over a lifeless body, casts a spell that causes the body to squirm and shrink and a small creature emerges from clothing. A man picks up a small creature by the neck and drops it into a fenced area.
  We see a teenage boy in a coffin, buried under 6 feet of dirt, happily playing a game on a cell phone. A man sits on a tombstone in a cemetery, eating popcorn while a group of people nearby weep.
 A snake-skinned man holds a large python at arm's length; it snaps at another man who pulls his head back in shock. A group of men tear into a tent, rip back the covers of a bed, and find a large python that rears up at them, hissing and snapping. A man tells a crowd that a bite from a spider will result in almost instant death; he then panics as he looks around for the spider, causing the crowd to panic, and the spider, that's on the lap of a teenage boy, scurries away. In the opening credits, we see two shadow-puppet-like figures being eaten by a large monster with a serpentine tongue. A teenage boy holds a small spider in his hand, and another teen boy smashes the spider by slamming his hand against the boy's hand. A man throws a deadly spider at the head of a teenage boy who freaks out and throws the spider off his head; we later see the spider with a small splint on one of its legs. A spider causes a panic as it escapes from its cage and runs around a crowded school hallway: it jumps from a teenage girl's head to the head of a woman, people scream and scurry around, a teenage boy swats at the spider with a broom, knocking it from the ceiling, and another teenage boy interrupts him and the spider jumps away to safety.
 A boy argues with a small creature, and says he refuses to give it his hand to hold after he saw what it did to his friend's hand (the creature had snapped at it); the creature moans sadly, the boy relents, lowers his hand and the creature snaps at him.
 A man instructs a teen boy how to use his fingernails to claw into a tree. A teenage boy jokingly claws through a chalkboard. A man drags his hand across a chalkboard, making a classroom full of teenagers shriek.
 A teenage boy is approached by a small creature that reaches into its chest cavity, pulls out a small, withered, black heart and shows it to the boy; the boy looks away in disgust, and the creature places it back into his chest and walks away.
 A man eats pieces of broken metal and sticks a welding machine down his throat, flashes of light come from his stomach, he takes the welding torch out of his mouth, turns his back and a small bike comes out of his mouth (no gagging sounds heard); he gets on the bike and rides away. A man stands before a crowd, his shirt open, and a huge portion of his torso is missing and small portions of his organs are seen tightly wound around the spinal column. A man is seen wearing a shirt that exposes his chest and he has two distinct stomachs, including two visible bellybuttons. A shirtless man is seen with a huge metal hoop going through his face. A man swallows swords.
 A snake-skin covered young man and a teenage boy shake hands, and the teen boy looks at his hand and sees slime and scales; the young man tells the boy that he molts a lot and that the teenage boy should probably go wash his hands if he wants to avoid getting pink eye. A snake-skinned young man tells a teenage boy that he had been found in a dumpster when he was two days old, and he then jokingly starts singing a song about being a dumpster baby. A teenage boy spits out a piece of chewing gum on the ground, which is then picked up by a man and placed into a small box. Two teenage boys and a teenage girl are instructed to clean the cage of a wolfman; one approaches the cage and feces are visible all over the ground. A teenage boy picks up a dead rat, playfully chases a girl with it, and puts it into a bag. A teenage boy looks on as a group of small creatures eat steaming chunks of meat from a trough. A teenage boy picks up a dead squirrel and puts it in a bag. We see a painting of a man holding a decapitated head.
 A man, established to have a bizarre physical deformity in his abdominal area, opens his shirt to a crowd of people (we only see his covered back as he opens the front of his shirt) and the people scream and run as a man shouts loudly, "Freak!" A teenage boy finds a knife sticking out of a flyer in front of a picture of his family, inferring that his family is in danger.
 A teen slams headfirst into a stop sign and falls to the ground, he slowly gets up, shakes his head and continues to run. A woman offers to cut off her hand so that a teenage boy can drink her blood or eat her hand and the boy declines (she is able to re-grow the hand easily).
 A man tells another man that a person had been "sucked dry" by a vampire (implying that the person had died after the attack). A man discusses how a group of vampires were "draining" people and were leaving people for dead. A man tells a teenage boy that people who trust a man typically end up dead, or worse than dead; the boy asks the man what he means by "worse than dead," and the man points to himself, implying that being undead is worse than having been killed. A man sighs happily as he tells a teenage boy that he dreams of a time when people will kill one another, that blood will flow freely, and that there will be an apocalyptic war. A teenage boy asks a man if he has killed people, the man says that he does not, but then tells the boy about a sect of vampires who do kill people. A man asks another man if he believes that they will have to go to war with another sect of vampires. A man says that he will smother people in their sleep if they do not stop spreading rumors. A teenage boy shouts at a man, saying that he will "hunt him down" after the man refuses to make the teenage boy a vampire. A teenage boy shouts at another teenage boy that he is a "dead man." A man laughs and tells a teenage boy that he has a "stupid friend" who had threatened to kill him. A man shouts at a teenage boy, saying he does not know how to fight and that if he wanted to, he could attack the boy and drink his blood. A teenage boy shouts threats at another teenage boy, taunting him by saying that he is in need of some blood. A woman, in a trance-like state, tells a man that he is in great danger. While standing in a cemetery, a man asks a teenage boy if he smells "a rotting corpse." A teenage boy tells a man that he had been very close to killing his own sister; the man tells the boy that he will have to leave his family, but will have to feign in his own death. A man tells a teenage boy that he better not do anything "stupid like killing his family."
 A teenage boy throws a rock at a light bulb, and we hear it explode. A teenage boy instructs another teenage boy to throw a rock at a light bulb and the other teenage boy cautiously picks up a rock and throws it, shattering the bulb. A man grabs a cell phone from a teenage boy and smashes it on the ground. A man pulls a dagger out of a chest, breaks it in half, and holsters the broken hilt.

PROFANITY 4 - A man tells a boy that he is "f-ed up" and explains that he means "freaked up" since he is a "circus freak," 5 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (jerk, garbage, freakshow, freak, filthy people, murderer, scumbag, crazy, megalomaniac, little psychopath, "weird, deformed, disgusting people," mentally unfit, thief, liar, larcenous fiend, insufferable, ridiculous, stupid, idiot, filthy little pig, pathetic), several exclamations (shut up), 3 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man takes a sip from a presumably alcoholic drink, two men cheer with presumably alcoholic drinks, a man puts down a glass of a presumably alcoholic drink, a man offers another man a drink, and a teenage boy says that his mother is drunk all of the time.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Vampires, werewolves, freak shows, suicide, alcoholism, coping with death and loss, dishonesty, war, treaties.

MESSAGE - You must be willing to fight for what you believe in.

Special Keywords: S4 - V7 - P4 - MPAAPG-13

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