What we do in the shadows (Clement & Waititi, 2014).


What we do in the shadows, written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (2014).

Score: bloody hilarious.

What we do in the shadows is a mockumentary that follows the everyday lives of four vampires who share a flat in present-day Wellington. Viago (Taika Waititi), 379 years old, was a German dandy and even to this day he is delicate and easy-going. Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), 862 years old, was known as Vlad the Poker for his favourite torture method and still has his way with the ladies. Deacon (Jonny Brugh), 183 years old, is a young, wild, Bela Lugosi-like vampire who got turned by 8,000-year-old, Nosteratu-ish Petyr (Ben Fransham), who lives in their basement and is not very social.

The false documentary attests to how the flatmates argue over who has to clean the huge pile of bloody cups or to how Viago tries to convince Vlad to cover the couch with towels before eating someone so everything does not get messy. The vampires have real trouble clubbing because they cannot walk into any pubs unless they are invited in, and a running feud with a local pack of werewolves (not swearwolves).

What we do in the shadows is extremely genre-savvy: virtually every vampire trope you can think of is mocked, spoofed and deconstructed, all in the fragmented style of a reality show; ad-libs add to the hilarity and the special effects are pretty nice. Waititi looking meekly at the camera as Viago and smiling with his little fangs while everything goes to shit behind him cracks me up every time. Needless to say, there are copious amounts of black comedy, like Deacon’s familiar Jackie (Jackie Van Beek) bringing her school bully and her ex-boyfriend to be eaten.

To wrap it up, totally worth it.



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