Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are three vampires living together and struggling to cope with modern life. From doing housework to trying to get into nightclubs, they're perfectly normal - except for their immortality, fangs, and thirst for human blood. When their 8000 year-old housemate, Petyr, turns 20-something Nick into o vampire, the guys must guide him through his newfound eternal life. In return, they ore forced to learn a thing or two about modern life.
- What We Do in the Shadows review by Count Otto Black
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You rated this film: 4
This is basically Spinal Tap with vampires. It's a low-budget mockumentary that has no pretensions, and delivers exactly what it sets out to. The idea that becoming a vampire is a random event which gives you immortality and superpowers without making you otherwise any more special than you previously were has lots of comedy potential, and is exploited very well. The vampire housemates we get to know over the course of the film are oddly lovable despite the horrible things they do (gore is wisely kept to a minimum, so there are very few scenes which can genuinely be called horrific), and the strictly literal interpretation of vampire lore provides plenty of laughs. For instance, if you think about it, people who have been the same age for hundreds of years and can't see themselves in mirrors probably would have dreadful fashion sense, and if you can't enter a building without being formally invited, getting into a nighclub would tend to involve a bizarre conversation with an utterly baffled doorman.
The best thing about this film is that it understands how potentially hilarious it is to portray the everyday lives of people who are essentially very ordinary, but just happen to be murderous supernatural monsters. One vampire in particular is hopelessly inept because he's new to it and wasn't very bright to begin with, and none of them quite know how to cope with the 8,000-year-old ravening utterly inhuman monstrosity in the basement. This is a very funny black comedy that doesn't pull its punches - all the vampires kill humans on a regular basis because that's what vampires do - and at the same time, gets a lot of mileage out of surprising plot-points like the fact that underneath the facade, they're not all that evil, and can't bring themselves to feed on a human who they think is a really nice guy. There's also a lot of comedy that derives from the Dracula-Renfield relationship between vampires and human servants who can go out in the daylight and do things they can't, in return for the promise that one day they'll become vampires and live forever, which is clearly not a thing their masters ever intend to actually do.
This is the funniest and silliest vampire movie since Roman Polanski's "The Fearless Vampire Slayers, Or, Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are In My Neck" came out almost 50 years ago - in fact, I'm surprised there were so few references to it, and I kept expecting them to revisit the gag about a vampire being immune to crucifixes because he's Jewish - and you can't help loving jokes like the scene in which vampires who have just discovered the internet get terribly excited about their newfound ability to watch youtube videos of the sun coming up. Daft fun with a knowing take on vampire movie lore, and highly recommended.
Spinal Tap Vampires
- What We Do in the Shadows review by NW
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You rated this film: 5
Just brilliant, unexpected documentary style. Just really good.Had this for a while thought it might be dodgy but not, what a surprise Vampires living a ''normal'' life with unexpected problems such as what to wear or long lost love affairs vampires do have hearts.
Finally we have a vampire comedy that is actually good! What We Do In The Shadows is a fantastic new production out of New Zealand. I give it four out of five stars because it is one of those films that seems to get everything right.
What We Do In The Shadows follows Viago, Deacon, Vladislav, and Petyr in a fake-documentary format. They are four - evidently kooky - vampires who share a flat and the waking afterlife. Living in modern times with a healthy lust for human blood is difficult enough, but when one turns a human into a vampire, the whole house dynamic is thrown into chaos.
While it seems like a simple story idea - and it pretty much is - it is still entertaining. I’m a huge fan of sci-fi, so mixing time periods is something I’m familiar with, but this story did it in a different and engaging way.
I hadn’t heard of any of these actors before (except for those of Flight of the Concords fame), and yet they are now on my radar.
The visual effects weren’t anything you would see in Hollywood feature films, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t good. The ‘tricks’ worked, and you would have a hard time picking holes in them.
It is a very weird thing to say that they accurately portrayed comical vampires through their dialogue, but writers Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement (also the directors and stars) pulled it off. They combined modern characters with those from a very different generation.
A few years ago, spoof films were made and released left, right, and centre. They were absolutely everywhere...and none of them were funny. So, you could imagine my surprise when my neighbour New Zealand created this hilarious work. True, most of the jokes are corny, but it really does work. It is also no surprise that the film has been well received by audiences, as it began by utilising the crowd funding website Kickstarter.
As I said before, audience reviews have been very positive. The classic New Zealand comedy style has translated well, showing its universality. Its writing has been widely called ‘smart’, with the only faults being that it might not be loved by everyone (what film is?!).
What We Do In The Shadows, if you are of the allowed age, is a film I highly recommend you check out. It’s funny, the characters are well-created, and the story wasn’t sacrificed for jokes. The film also deserves extra credit for coming from such small roots. So everyone, watch out for more fantastic New Zealand productions.