Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows
02.09.2015
8 10

PLOT: Four swingin' vampires living in New Zealand have their lives disrupted by a documentary crew and the presence of a new bloodsucker.

REVIEW: The psychological torment of walking this Earth as a vampire has never been so amusingly explored as it is in WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS the fun, quirky and bloody mockumentary from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waitati (both of whom also star). Not that the movie gets bogged down in any kind of somber mood; it's just finding new ways to tackle age-old vampire tropes, such as the agony of immortality, the yearning to see sunlight again, and the sad truth that you can't be friends with most humans without making an attempt on their lives. At the risk of sounding like a cliche, SHADOWS is to vampires what THIS IS SPINAL TAP is to musicians. It's seriously good time.

The film is purported to be the work of "The New Zealand Documentary Board," although it doesn't go much further into the hows or whys of the doc itself. The focus is a quartet of ancient vampires living in a Wellington bachelor pad and doing what most single guys do: cruise nightclubs looking for supple flesh, get into scraps with rivals (in this case, werewolves), argue amongst themselves and more or less just try to make it through the day (or night). Viago (Waitati) is a good-natured sort, intent on keeping their crypt nice and tidy; Vlad (Clement) is a wannabe Dracula, with a Romanian accent and forced air of regal charm; Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) is the "young bad boy" (he's only a few hundred years old) and Petyr (Ben Fransham) is a Nosferatu lookalike who mostly stays in his coffin in the cellar and eats live chickens.

Life isn't always easy for these amiable bloodsuckers; there's the matter of daily chores to attend to (the dishes haven't been washed in five years), and luring humans back to their pad is easier said than done. Getting into clubs is even harder, because don't forget they have to be invited in before they can get their game on. Not that they're exactly aware of how they look; not being able to see their reflections makes dressing-up a chore.

The crux of the plot is the introduction of a new vamp, Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), who was intended to be dinner one night but was instead turned into a member of the undead. Nick is simultaneously thrilled with his new supernatural status (he can't help but stroll drunkenly down the street telling anyone who'll listen he's a vampire), but is bummed about the little things: not being able to suntan or watch daytime television are biggies. The original quartet is rather nonplussed by his presence; they're more excited about Nick's bland human friend Stu (Stuart Rutherford), who becomes a fixture in the household thanks to his passive demeanor and his ability to expose the guys to the technological wonders of the world. (They can now watch sunrises on YouTube!)

The plot, such as it is, doesn't matter much; SHADOWS is a movie that moves along on its own sweet charm and goofy swagger. It almost has the rhythm of a sitcom; as one crazy situation subsides, another one arises. All of the vampire cliches are utilized, and with full knowledge they're cliches; that's the point and fun of the film. And yet you don't have to have complete knowledge of vampire lore to get these gags; Waitati and Clement have made the comedy accessible enough so that everyone will be able to enjoy it. (Although be warned: things do get bloody every now and again.)

The entire cast is wholly likable (Stu is destined to be a particular fan favorite); always-funny Clement will be the most recognizable to anyone outside of New Zealand thanks to his "Flight of the Conchords" exploits, but it's Waitati who really steals the show. His Viago is a ceaselessly sweet creature, the nicest monster to ever spew an innocent's blood all over the room. It's not a stretch to say you'd risk your neck just to be friends with the guy. To add to the point, it's not at all a stretch to say I'd love to see a few more movies about this unorthodox clan; here's a potential franchise you can be assured won't suck. (Sorry.)

Extra Tidbit: The film opens this Friday in NY and L.A.
Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

3:11PM on 02/09/2015
Really loved this film! Would've been even better with more Rhys Darby and the wolf pack. They were brilliant.
Really loved this film! Would've been even better with more Rhys Darby and the wolf pack. They were brilliant.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:02AM on 02/09/2015

I've been hearing good things about this flick

I'll have to check it out sometime. Thanks for the review.
I'll have to check it out sometime. Thanks for the review.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:35AM on 02/09/2015

WHAT??! This movie was shit.

Holy hell this movie was bad. It wasn't funny at all. I wasn't expecting genius levels of mockumentary like Spinal Tap or Best In Show but this was just horrible.

First off nobody could adlib. Nobody had a funny improvised moment at all.

This was just terribly scripted and had jokes that would make Scary Movie 5 squirm. The whole MTV Cribs spoof attitude, the whole cast (besides Jemaine Clement who brought the ONLY laugh) was terrible. It was just not funny.

If you are a hipster who
Holy hell this movie was bad. It wasn't funny at all. I wasn't expecting genius levels of mockumentary like Spinal Tap or Best In Show but this was just horrible.

First off nobody could adlib. Nobody had a funny improvised moment at all.

This was just terribly scripted and had jokes that would make Scary Movie 5 squirm. The whole MTV Cribs spoof attitude, the whole cast (besides Jemaine Clement who brought the ONLY laugh) was terrible. It was just not funny.

If you are a hipster who doesn't know what a mockumentary is but claims they love them to be ironic, you might like this movie, ironically. But really though, Eric, dude you have horrible tastes in movies if you think this was an 8/10.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:39AM on 02/09/2015
Everything up to your last sentence would've been fine, but you just have to take to being insulting...
Everything up to your last sentence would've been fine, but you just have to take to being insulting...
8:30PM on 02/09/2015
Understand the critique. Don't see the point of the insult. Get over yourself...
Understand the critique. Don't see the point of the insult. Get over yourself...
+1
10:34AM on 02/09/2015
Totally agreed... very funny.. don't miss this one
Totally agreed... very funny.. don't miss this one
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More