What We Do In The Shadows: Film Review

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I went to see this without any clue about what it is. All I knew was what the characters looked like from the poster, my New Zealand friend loved it and it was co-written, co-directed and starring Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Concords. I was pleasantly surprised. It was far more oddball and brilliantly funny that I expected.

Clement is a part of a group of four vampires living in a house share and each member has mundane struggles of living with other people. This ‘mockumentary’ style comedy turns up a notch when housemate Petyr turns Nick into a vampire rather than killing him and he comes to live with them and shows them how to work modern technology and learn to be friends with a human.

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Not an awful lot happens in this film, but that is exactly the point. It is supposed to be a fly-on-the-wall look at what goes on in a regular New Zealand vampire home. The film excels when it focuses on the mundane topics, such as a house meeting about cleaning and deciding what to wear on a night out. The simple juxtaposition between the conversation and them being bloodthirsty, 180+ years old vampires is what makes it hilarious. Most of the content is improvised and you can tell because it is so realistic and well-observed, which makes it way funnier.

It starts off so strong and I was laughing out loud constantly. I love the variety of characters, the way the clash and the way they dress. Some of the one-liners were brilliant, but a few did fall flat because they were too silly. It lost momentum around the middle, when Nick is turned and just pisses them all off and they get grumpy. It loses its punch when it aims at broader themes. The ending was not quite as strong, but I still left feeling satisfied and I really want to see it again. This is hilarious and I suggest you give it a try.

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Released: Friday

Trackbacks

  1. […] in the hands of Taika Waititi, the director of the excellent Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows. This time around Thor has to defeat Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in a gladiator-style fight to defend […]

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