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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 12.09.14] New Zealand horror comedy mockumentary

I know. You're tired to death of vampire movies. We see the complaints every time we post some new news story about a vampire movie but let me be clear: What We Do in the Shadows is the vampire movie you didn't know you wanted. Seriously. Even if you hate vampire movies, you'll quite likely get a kick out of this one.

Written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (of "Flight of the Concords," and "Inbetweeners" fame), the pair also star as Vladislav and Viago respectively, two vampires who share a home with two others in Wellington. The group is being followed by a documentary crew that is capturing the reality of vampires living in the modern age. They're interesting individuals and an unlikely group of roommates of differing ages, experiences and wants and there's tension in the house, tension that is elevated when the group is forced to take two others into their little coven of miscreants.

Clement and Waititi's mocukemtary conceit is rather genius. Not only is it a fresh new approach at a familiar genre, it offers plenty of opportunity for laughs, many of which the directors take full advantage of, including the meta jokes which get many of the best laughs. But if you think the mockumentary approach is a cheap way of avoiding effects, you're sorely mistaken because What We Do in the Shadows doesn't shy away from on screen action and the mostly wire effects are brilliantly conceived on screen. And then there's the blood. Plenty of it flies throughout the movie – as one might expect from a tale involving vampires.

What I love best about What We Do in the Shadows is that it takes familiar tropes of vampire stories and plays them to their logical, and often hilarious, conclusion. It takes into account that being friends with a human isn't easy, that drinking blood isn't always a sexy thing, that eating human food has terribly unpleasant side effects and perhaps most hysterically, that being a vampire doesn't necessarily mean that you're a sex pot that everyone wants to fuck. You often don't fit in, can't communicate properly with your would be victim and perhaps most hilariously, that clubbing is the hardest thing you could possibly imagine.

Though everyone is quite good here, Clement and Waititi have the best roles and the pair more than deliver, not only in their individual performances but in directing a comedy that scores in every aspect, including being smart about its subject matter. It does go on for a little long, there's a post-script that isn't really necessary but overall, What We Do in the Shadows is a rare comedy that is smart about its subject matter not to mention hilarious from start to (nearly) finish.

What We Do in the Shadows opens in the US February 13, 2015.

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agentorange (7 years ago) Reply

Cannot wait to catch up with this one.


JeffC (7 years ago) Reply

BTW a while back I saw this trailer for Vampires, and thought, wow! that looks really funny but I have to say it's nowhere near as funny as What We Are in the Shadows!

One of the best comedies of the year and one I could just watch over and over again! There are so many good lines and funny characters!

Don't miss it!!

This is the one I mentioned in the beginning, worth a look too, it had some moments.

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