There’s one word that comes to mind after watching What we Do in the Shadows; genius.
The vampire genre has grown incredibly tired. Everything that could be done with it has been a hundred times over; or so I thought. But in 2015 along came Flight of the Concords creators Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement who brought us the hilarious mockumentary that the vampire sub-genre has been thirsty for.
A mismatched group of vampires cohabiting in a New Zealand house allow a documentary team to follow them for a few months to see what they get up to. It turns out that vampires have their own domestic problems just like us, with absolutely hilarious results.
The film pays homage to many a classic vampire film with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Nosferatu being some of the most notable nods. It’s an incredibly clever film with some fantastic dry comedy; these guys are clearly incredibly talented in what they do and What we Do in the Shadows is easily one of the best (albeit lesser known) films of 2015.
We are introduced to the group of vamps as they’re being woken up one by one by fussy leader of the
house Viago, who’s 379 years old. He’s joined by 862 year old Vladislav ‘the poker’, a former tyrant partial to poking his victims with implements, Deacon the young (183 year old) rebel of the group and finally, in the basement lives creepy 8000 year old Petyr who looks much like Count Orlock and never speaks a word. The group are later joined by new vampire Nick and form a mismatched yet hilarious family of weirdos, each with their own bizarre and very funny personalities.
It’s the subtleties in the script that make the film so funny. Paired with the fantastic performances of the lead actors the cleverly crafted script makes it more than just yet another vampire comedy (and who needs another one of those, really?) One of the best scenes has the group trawling their local town attempting to get into night clubs ‘and how to get into nightclubs when you can’t enter anywhere without being invited?’ A very valid question, the answer to which is hilarious to watch as the group struggle to convince doormen to grant them entry.
What we Do in the Shadows is undoubtedly one of the best films of the past year. It’s also easily one of, if not the, funniest vampire comedies to ever be released. It’s such a shame that it hasn’t yet got as much recognition as it deserves but hopefully people will soon start to cotton on! Definitely one to watch, like, immediately! It’s a fantastic, laugh-out-loud funny film and I only hope that these guys release more like this in the future.
A big, fat Films and Things 5 stars!
A little bonus pic for you; one of the smallest yet funniest (in my opinion) parts of the film! Vladislav apparently used to be really good at transforming into any animal but now he always gets the faces wrong! HA!