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What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, 2014) wr. Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi; Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Jonathan Brugh; NZ vampire mockumentary

Flatmates Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonny Brugh), and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) are three vampires who are just trying to get by in modern society; from paying rent and sticking to the housework roster to trying to get invited into nightclubs, they’re just like anyone else - except they’re immortal and must feast on human blood. When their 8000 year-old flatmate, Petyr, turns 20-something human hipster, Nick, into a vampire, the guys must teach him the ropes and guide him through his new found eternal life. And in return they are forced to learn a thing or two about modern society, fashions and technology. Written and directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, this mockumentary style film has already achieved a cult status. It has even spawned its own television series spin-off (with a new cast).

Simon Abrams:
What We Do in the Shadows is an irrepressibly charming B-movie that never over-stays its welcome, and is both conceptually clever and admirably well-executed. ... It would be very easy to take for granted what the creators of What We Do in the Shadows get right. Many scenes feel like master-classes in cringe comedy, like the above-mentioned blood-barf scene. And the group's chemistry really can't be overstated. This is especially true of scenes where Viago and the gang literally take flight while hissing at each other, like airborne feral cats. You've got to give it up for comedians who are this good at translating their apparent behind-the-scenes joy (watch the scene where they chase Gonzalez-Macuer around the house Scooby Doo-style, and tell me they're not having a blast) into a tight hang-out comedy. It may seem like there's nothing to What We Do in the Shadows, but it takes a lot of skill to be this silly. Roger Ebert.

Jeannette Catsoulis:
At heart a dotty look at oldsters struggling to adapt to an unwelcoming modernity, “Shadows” has the bones of an anarchic sitcom. The jokes don’t always land, but the group’s determination to befriend a bewildered techie — without eating him — is strangely touching. Once they’ve learned how to Google pictures of virgins for themselves, though, he’d better watch his back. New York Times.

Garry Gillard | New: 19 May, 2020 | Now: 7 August, 2020