Big Screen :: What We Do in the Shadows

September 11th 2014

What we do in the shadows

What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary about vampires living in a share house in Wellington. If you’re wondering why a group of vampires in hiding would get a documentary crew to follow them around; then you’re probably watching the wrong movie.

If you’re wondering why they would live in Wellington; again, you’re probably watching the wrong movie. This film only wants to make you laugh – and it will bend every rule and ignore all logic to do it. Fortunately it works, because it was the funniest film I’ve seen in ages.

Vladislav (Jermaine Clement) and Viago (Taika Waititi) live in a flat with a gnarled old beast named Deacon, who is thousands of years old. This guy was my favourite. He was kind of like an aged parent living with his grown up kids, still respected by the others but now so ancient he can barely communicate and is out of control. The movie is mostly about their lives, but there is a bit of a plot twist when a new vampire and a bunch of werewolves arrive, led by Rhys Darby. The werewolves come off as nerdy losers that tuck in their t-shirts and dislike swearing. This is one of many inventive gags, while the film is constantly subverting the genre, but always respecting it.

Flight of the Conchords fans will obviously get a lot out of this, but the humour is a lot broader and more accessible. Clement was seriously good in the last Men In Black film and I reckon he has a lot of chops. I’d like to see him stretch himself, but I’ll settle for this. Vladislav is right in his wheelhouse and he nails it. I could talk about this one for ages, and spoil all its good jokes, but I had a ball with What We Do in the Shadows. You should definitely give it a look.


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