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