Review of 'What We Do in the Shadows'

what_we_do_in_the_shadows.jpg A spoof (!) documentary following the lives of four vampire (!) flatmates in Wellington, New Zealand: Viago (Taika Waititi), Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), Deacon (Jonny Brugh) and Petyr (Ben Fransham) who sleeps in a stone coffin the basement. They face the normal problems of flatmates such as who cleans the clothes and does the dishes but also those related to being a vampire such as avoiding the sunlight, silver and enthusiastic vampire slayers. Deacon's familiar Jackie (Jackie van Beek), long promised immortality for her service, brings a male victim Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) to the group and he is turned into a vampire by Petyr a short time later. Nick, in turn, brings in IT friend Stu (Stu Rutherford) who introduces them to modern conveniences becomes friends with the group who agree not to turn him into a vampire. However, fate may play a hand…

A very humorous comedy with a dry New Zealand absurdist touch that also features some surprisingly good special effects despite the slightly amateurish look to the whole thing. The acting is suitably cheesy with basic, simple sets. It is silly fun but feels like it drags a lot as the whole premise becomes a bit grating after a while. Amusing is when the group is out on the town going to nightclubs and interacting with the public and the day-to-day problems of being a vampire such as how to shave when you can't see yourself in a mirror. There has been a great deal of thought to make the premise work and it shows. They must be doing something right as the film has gone on to inspire a TV show.

A bit of patience and a stupid frame of mind is required to enjoy this light-hearted entertainment from down-under.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-10-31

Directed by: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

Studio: Unison Films

Year: 2014

Length: 86 minutes

Genre: Horror

Other reviewed films by Taika Waititi: