“I think of it like this. If you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had fucked it.” Ladies and Gentleman, What We Do In The Shadows.
Following the lives of Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement). Three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles, like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection. Modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.
I would go as far to say that the second this script was finished, What We Do In The Shadows instantly became a cult classic. Attempting a mockumentary format, directors Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, create a hilarious satire of modern pop culture with a delightful twist. In the vain of MTV’s The Real World series, we get to see what life is like for four flat-mates that happen to be Vampires. Adhering to the reality-show idiom could have gone terribly wrong, and become tiresome, but the schtick is well suited for this material and the movie is simply laugh out loud funny.
If played straighter, this could have come off like a cheap Addams Family rip off. Instead they keep their focus and relentlessly mock modern reality TV. Each character is given their own hilariously interesting biography. Watiti plays Viago, an 18th century prim and proper dandy who has retained his manners, to the dismay of the other residents, post mortem (in one funny bit he even discusses laying newspaper down to catch wayward blood). Fellow writer director, Clement stars as Vladislov the poker (get it? like Vlad the Impaler), a bit more of a torture enthusiast.Their housemates Deacon, a pretty boy wanna be rockstar, and Petyr, a Nosferatu look-alike, also join the party. While all have their own backstories the main overlying theme is their difficulty in dealing with the 21st century life.
The film is paced perfectly. It’s a nonstop onslaught of hilarious bits and awkwardly comedic situations. What’s important to know about What We Do In The Shadows, is that it is just really really funny. Beyond the funny, is the film’s charm. The characters are all witty versions of different vampire lore explored throughout cinema history. Simply put, they are a bunch of lovable idiots. Playing beautifully on the absurdity of these characters in a modern setting, mocking the more ridiculous aspects of vampire mythology with grace.
The film is flawlessly edited, coming in at just 82 minutes, it ends well before the jokes begin to get thin. What We Do In The Shadows is the movie spoof we have all been waiting for. Comparatively it rivals some of the best like, This Is Spinal Tap, and The Naked Gun series. The writing is unique and endearing along with being ridiculously funny. Waititi and Clement put in some of their best work, and their performances are subtle and fantastic.
For the life of me I just couldn’t find a negative here. This is the best vampire movie made in the last decade, and one of the best horror comedies of all time. Waititi and Clement bring in some of the humor that has worked so well in their HBO show Flight of the Conchords. The mockumentary format is gimmicky, but this film utilizes it so well that you never really notice. The jokes never seem to get repetitive, and the fun continues for 82 glorious minutes. This is what a horror comedy should be, this is what a spoof movie should be, this is what vampire movies should be, and this is just an all around brilliant film. When you get an opportunity, rent this wonderful piece of comedic gold!
4.5/5 Pretty Cool Bro, Bordering on Epic Bro