What We Do in the Shadows (2014)


What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Directed by: Taika Waititi, Jermaine Clement

When Taika Waititi and frequent collaborator Jermaine Clement released the film Eagle vs Shark, they struck out into the world with a comedy charm that was subtle, refreshing and completely unlike the saturated Hollywood fare. Taika’s style is that of heart and deadpan comedy. A tragic-sweetness that carries from Eagle vs Shark to What We Do in the Shadows. The premise of the film is a novelty. Four vampire house-mates and a documentary film crew. We follow these characters in the run-up to the undead social event of the year. The Unholy Masquerade. Each of the vampires is representative of a specific time in vampire history. Viago is the classic, Bela Lugosi’s Dracula of the group.  Vladislav sits more in the style of Bram Stoker. Deacon is evocative of the 80’s Lost Boys. And Petyr is the silent (a nice throwback to the films that birthed his character) Nosferatu. Later they add Nick to the group, a contemporary vampire who walks through the city streets shouting “I am Twilight!” The comedy is punchy and sharp. On the subject of why vampires prefer to drink the blood of virgins, Vladislav says “Think of it like this. If you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had fucked it.” All these subtle plays on the nature of being a vampire in the real world build into a funny film. To repeat them en masse here would diminish their potency. What We Do in the Shadows is a film that is worth a watch. Maybe even a re-watch. Especially for those who are fans of the collaborators previous works (Flight of the Conchords!).