What We Do In The Shadows, (2014)

I am again behind on reviews, so there’s gonna be a bit of a deluge today: my apologies.

On the thirteenth day of Halloween Flight of the Conchords gave to me: What We Do In the Shadows (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, 2014)

The final spot in my horror-comedy review segment is another film out of New Zealand, this time helmed by members of the comedy/folk music group Flight of the Conchords. If you don’t know who they are, take five minutes or so and look up some of their sketches/songs: they’re brilliant.

At any rate, What We Do In the Shadows is a mockumentary-style expose into the lives of four vampire flatmates: Viago (Taika Waititi), Vadislav (Jemaine Clement), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Petyr (Ben Fransham). Their nightly routines are suddenly interrupted after Petyr turns twenty-something Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) into one of the undead. While Nick struggles to come to terms with his new situation, the flatmates must reconcile with each other.

I was doing an erotic dance for my friends and you ruined it

To be honest, that description makes the movie seem far more serious than it actually is. This movie is 99% fluff: and while some of it might be bloody, it’s fluff nonetheless. What We Do in the Shadows is a quirky, happy little “hang-out” movie, as Tarantino might say. The plot is vague at best, as its more about the characters and their various mundane interactions rather than some driven, fast-paced story.

To be sure, the “hang-out” style is perfect for What We Do in the Shadows. There’s enough of an arc- getting to the Undead Masquerade- but most of the humor comes from the ridiculously everyday quibbles between the ancient undead. This movie is like if The Office went on a date with Spinal Tap, but was interrupted halfway through by Spinal Tap’s old lover, Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

There’s every sort of vamp in here: your Gary Oldman Dracula, some good ole’ Noseferatu, and the “bad-boy” vamp. They’re powerful, bloody beings- which makes their arguments over who is supposed to do the dishes all the more absurd.  The “documentary crew” follows the four vampire flatmates as they navigate the all-too-familiar conflicts of daily life. Who’s going to take out the trash?  What club are we going to go out to? What should I wear tonight? Who’s luring in the virgins?

What We Do In the Shadows thrives on a brilliant juxtaposition of the supernatural with the very natural, and it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable movie. The actors- many of whom were part of Flight of the Conchords – are (predictably) hilarious and create a nice ensemble cast.  All in all, it’s a lovely, silly time.

U havin’ a giggle there m8

What We Do in the Shadows is a quirky, quiet little gem of a film. While nothing in the movie had me doubled over with laughter, the film left me with the warm and fuzzies. This movie bobs along to it’s own rhythm, and is delightfully goofy. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for a down day, when you just need something easy to follow and funny. I’d highly recommend this film if you like comedy along the lines of Monty Python and the like. If not, What We Do In the Shadows might not be for you.

But if you’re on the fence…I’d take a bite.

 

 

4/5

 

 

—-Further Reading/Sources—-

Featured image source: http://www.impawards.com/intl/new_zealand/2014/what_we_do_in_the_shadows.html

 

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