‘Cirque Du Freak’ Vampires Are ‘Cooler’ Than ‘Twilight’ ‘s, Star Boasts

'Robert [Pattinson] is still much better-looking than all of us combined,' Josh Hutcherson admits.

Between [movie id="369195"]“Twilight,”[/movie] “True Blood,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “I Kissed a Vampire,” it’s pretty hard these days to look at the bloodthirsty pop-culture trend and not get, well, sucked in. But if you have room for one more, 17-year-old rising star Josh Hutcherson would like to tell you a tale about two boys, a circus full of freaks and a centuries-old vampire war.

“I think the ’80s wave is coming back — you had ‘The Lost Boys’ and ‘Interview With the Vampire,’ ” reasoned Hutcherson, who stars in this week’s “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant” and insists that the vampire trend is cyclical. “Those are my favorite vampires ever; those are coming back now, too. I think that’s why vampires are getting hot again.

“And,” he added with a grin, “they’re just awesome and mysterious and interesting.”

[movie id="373816"]“Cirque du Freak”[/movie] is directed by Paul Weitz, whose brother Chris is releasing a certain other high-profile vampire flick this autumn. Hutcherson hopes that the movie will bring more mystery, interest and awesomeness to the genre by staying true to Darren Shan’s young-adult book series. To date, Shan has published three times as many books in his hit series as “Twilight” scribe Stephenie Meyer — and Hutcherson jokes that the Cullens are no match for Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) and his vampire pals.

“We don’t have typical vampires; we have the Vampires and the Vampaneze,” the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” star said of the two warring factions in the “Cirque du Freak” world. “We’re a whole different thing. We’ll kill ‘Twilight.’ We’ll eat those guys alive. We’re a lot cooler than them!

“No, Robert [Pattinson] is still much better-looking than all of us combined,” he grinned, reconsidering his statement. “So maybe they win.”

If the film — which features such solid supporting actors as Reilly, Salma Hayek, Ken Watanabe and Patrick Fugit — becomes a “Twilight”-sized hit at the box office, Hutcherson hopes they can crank out sequels from the 12-book franchise just as quickly. “I hope so. They combined the first three books into the first ['Cirque du Freak'] movie,” he explained. “So they’re combining books into the movies. They’re not going to make 15 of them.”

But if immortality is in the cards for this freaky franchise, Hutcherson said he’s most eager to shoot a sequence that would likely occur in the second or third sequel. “Steve is my character,” he said of one of the two teenage boys (Chris Massoglia plays the other) whose friendship and falling-out fuel the series. “Later on in the story, he becomes the prince of the Vampaneze army, and that’s pretty epic. So I’m dying to get into that.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant.”

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