Film Review: What We Do in the Shadows
What I prefer to review are those films that really impress me with their writing, overall quality and visual style, yet may not be familiar to the average viewer. I like discovering films that I had previously overlooked or dismissed outright, and realizing I was just being kind of a dick about them.
This is, however, NOT the case with this review. I knew I wanted to see this one right out of the gate. Why? Because it takes all of the lore of vampires and makes fun of the entire batch. This is a hilarious film that I recommend to everybody, and no one seems to want to see. Deadies, this one is golden!
What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary about a group of vampire roommates in New Zealand. We are introduced to the main characters, Viago, the fussy neat-freak, Vlad, the vampire haunted by ‘The Beast’, Deacon, the youngest of the set who just wants to be the ‘cool’ one, and Petyr, the 8000 year-old Nosferatu look-alike. The film documents the vampire’s everyday existence, from who is supposed to clean the dishes, to going out on the town to find fresh blood.
As the film progresses, you meet several side characters who are as involving as the main characters. Nick, the newest vampire they all find annoying. Jackie, the familiar, who is striving to be allowed to become a vampire. The Werewolves, a pack of irritating guys just begging to be antagonized. Stu, Nick’s friend, who introduces the vampires to the internet and everyone seems to like.
The film reviews and highlights each of the major facets of vampire lore in great detail, and shows each one in the funniest light possible, like mistakenly striking the main artery. At the climax of the film is the Ball, a grand party of vampires, werewolves, zombies, and whatever else you can think of that would fit. Vlad is distraught because he knows The Beast will be there.
I’ve seen this film three times now since last year, and I have to say any film that makes me laugh every time, even when I know the joke is coming, is worth savoring. What We Do in the Shadows co-stars, and is written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, co-creators of the HBO hit series Flight of the Conchords, so you know the comedy chops are there.
Plus, I’m happy to say, there’s a sequel of sorts in the works, this time focusing about werewolves. We’re Wolves is supposed to be filmed next year, last I heard. I can’t wait.
I say, let’s nail the stake through the heart of so many vampire stories. Watch this one and laugh your ass off, Deadies! Ten out of ten gravestones!