• James Rutherford

‘What We Do in the Shadows’: An Uproarious, Pitch-Perfect Vampire Mockumentary from New Zealand


Movie poster for the Mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows starring Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

“What We Do in the Shadows” (2015) is a profoundly amusing pseudo-documentary about a coven of vampires residing in Wellington, New Zealand who allow a film crew into their home in order to capture an in-depth documentation of the modern vampire.


The four residents of the house include Viago (Taika Waititi), a 379-year-old dilettante, Vlad (Jemaine Clement), an 862-year-old autocrat known as "Vladislav the Poker”, Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), a 183-year-old former Nazi, and Petyr (Ben Fransham), an 8,000-year-old recluse who rarely leaves his coffin in the basement. The former three spend their time humorously struggling to share day-to-day responsibilities that include house chores, employing “familiar” non-vampires to provide fresh blood, and discovering modern technology such as the internet. The group’s dynamic is ultimately altered rather dramatically with the creation/introduction of a new vampire, Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), whose callousness toward his newfound condition infuriates Deacon, in particular.


Written and directed by Waititi and Clement (“The Flight of the Conchords”) themselves, “What We Do in the Shadows” is a spirited and highly original spoof of documentary storytelling, delivering wonderfully wry absurdity and fresh comedic stylings. With clear reverence for the horror genre, they’ve carefully crafted a storyline that embraces horror lore just as it pokes wonderful fun at its more melodramatic elements. A real treat for those who appreciate roundly sardonic dry comedy.

 

View the trailer: