What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

brooke True story: This is the movie I never knew I was waiting for. I’ve needed to see it ever since I found out what vampires are; it’s a horror comedy slash mockumentary that’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of.

casey Step aside, Blade II, there’s a new Casey’s Favorite Vampire Movie in town!

brooke What We Do in the Shadows is funny and original and I love it. Within minutes it sunk its teeth into me (pun intended).

casey Solid vampire pun there. I thought the mockumentary format had been beaten to death over the years, but this is such a hilarious and original take, I share your love for it.

brooke Written by Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame) and Taika Waititi, (director of Hunt for the Wilderpeople), What We Do in the Shadows follows vampires Viago (Wititi), Vladislav (Clement), and Deacon (Jonny Brugh) through their daily lives as undead flatmates in Wellington, New Zealand. Each of the three is laden with strange quirks: Viago is a prissy neat freak, Vladislav an ex-torturer and sex fanatic, and Deacon the “young” bad boy of the group. They also take care of a fourth roommate, a reclusive 8,000 year old Nosferatu-style vampire named Petyr.

casey Shadows is great because it eschews a lot of easy pop culture/vampire gags in favor of more specific, character-driven comedy (I don’t think there’s a single Twilight joke!). Every character is well defined and funny in his or her own right, including side characters like Deacon’s familiar Jackie, a wife, mother and aspiring vampire whose jobs include collecting victims and dry cleaning; and Stu, a regular human and chill guy who teaches the vampires how to use Ebay. The personalities are allowed to bounce off each other, and the dialogue is consistently and subtly hilarious. I’d be happy to to hang out with the goofy bloodsuckers but for the fact they would brutally murder me in real life.

brooke It’s also got the perfect amount of gore for a vampire comedy. Any vampire trying to eat well is bound to make a mess, which is one of the issues between Viago and the others (“We’re vampires, we don’t put down towels!” protests Vlad).
Unlike you, I’m a fan of mockumentaries (the first seasons of The Office, Best in Show, etc.) but I agree that this one blows the rest away. Every comedic beat worked for me.

casey There are so many more little things I could highlight, from the gang of werewolves (“Not swear wolves!”) led by alpha Rhys Darby to the struggles of newly turned vampire Nick to assimilate into the undead lifestyle. But really, there’s not a lot of plot, so I’d just be describing funny scenes that deserve to be watched. The movie is charming, a little dark, and damn funny.

brooke It has a high joke density, but none of the gags feel overdone. I’ve been laughing to myself when I think about it ever since we watched and rewatched it.

casey “Just leave me to do my dark bidding on the internet.”
“What are you bidding on?”
“I’m bidding on a table! ”
Okay no more quotes, just see it. It’s good.


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