What We Do in the Shadows, written and directed by both Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi is a brilliantly hilarious mockumentary style film that delivers some well fleshed out and interesting characters, in a setting that will continually have you laughing at its clever and unique style of comedy.
What We Do in the Shadows is a film about 4 very old vampires who live in New Zealand. We follow them as they try to not only deal with the struggles of modern life but the introduction of a new and much younger vampire to their tight nit group.
The cast of characters is without a doubt what makes this film such a joy to watch. You have ‘Viago’ played by Taika Waititi, ‘Deacon’ played by Jonathan Brugh, ‘Vladislav’ played by Jemaine Clement, ‘Petyr’ played by Ben Fransham and finally ‘Nick’ played by Cori Gonzalez-Macuer. What is so great about all of them and what makes them so much fun to watch is just how different they are from one another. For example, seeing ‘Nick’, a character who has been a Vampire for 2 months interact with Petyr who has been one for over 8000 years and is someone who isn’t the most sociable of creatures, quite simply creates scenes of wonderfully original comedy.
What was so clever about this film was how it blended the stereotypes associated with Vampires and the social norms of everyday life. Seeing Vampires having a flat meeting over who isn’t doing their share of the chores despite it saying so on the chore wheel is something that is really funny to watch play out. The writers of the film continually combined the two ideas perfectly, I can’t stress enough just how funny some of the moments in this film are. I hate to say it but it really is laugh out loud funny (cringes internally).
Another aspect of ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ that I want to commend is the look of the film. The art department out did themselves when it came to the design of the Vampires house, their outfits etc. There is a real authenticity to the haggard look of everything in this film and then add to that the use of practical and visual effects to show off some of the Vampires abilities were great as well. The silly looking wire work added to the clumsy feel of the characters, them turning into bats, so as to have a drunken fight looked good and had some hilarious pay off. There was a real eye for detail when it came to making of what is a silly film, it felt real and authentic and I really appreciated that detail.
There isn’t too much more to say about this film, it is just a perfectly realised comedy. One that I would have liked to be longer just because I wanted so much more of the characters that it introduced but I guess less is more in the case of this film.