What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary focusing on four vampire flatmates. Directors and writers Jemaine Clement & Taiki Waititi star alongside Jonathan Brugh, each playing a very different vampire.
Clement is fantastic as the dark and brooding 862 year old Vladislav, Waititi plays Viago a really rather sweet 379 year old dandy, Brugh plays Deacon a 183 vampire who behaves like a rock star, more concerned with his appearance than helping out around the house. Ben Fransham plays Petyr a wonderful Max Schreck style 8,000 year old vampire.
They may be vampires but their problems are the same as any flatmates, they argue about the washing up and other mundane chores but these arguments can sometimes end up on the ceiling as they fight vampire style.
Helping them out by providing victims, they have a human friend Jackie (Jackie Van Beek) who is promised immortality for her help. Jackie brings some people to the house and one of them,Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), gets bitten by Petyr and becomes a vampire. Newly fanged Nick disrupts the group dynamic and creates various shenanigans.
This is typical New Zealand comedy, it’s quiet, understated and really funny. I loved the historical imagery used throughout the film when discussing the history of vampires and the occult and the mockumentary style works really well.
Rhys Darby, Jemaine Clement’s Flight of the Conchords co-star, pops up as the leader of a pack of werewolves (”not swearwolves”). There’s very little gore in the film but it has bags of charm. It’s not going to be for everyone but if you give it a chance you’ll find it’s worth your time.
What We Do in the Shadows is out today!