What We Do in the Shadows

2014 horror-comedy mockumentary

Rating: 16/20

Plot: A documentary crew takes a look at the life of a quartet of vampires sharing a flat. Their undead lives change

And before you start correcting me on whether vampires are undead or not, keep in mind that I really couldn't give a shit.

This was recommended by Cory as a possible February Oprah Movie Club suggestion, but I didn't have the patience and just decided to watch it.

A vampire movie? A mockumentary? Sure, I'm tired of the former, a genre I never cared for to begin with. And sure, a lot of people are sick of the latter since we've been inundated with them the past decade. For the record, I'm a sucker for the mockumentary format. I'm usually disappointed when a movie or television show isn't a mockumentary actually. So my credibility when writing about things like this might be shot. But trust me on this one. This is hilarious.

Those familiar with Flight of the Conchords might know what to expect here. This is written and directed by the comedy team of Taika Waititi (the guy who did the quirky Eagle vs. Shark and the really good Boy and who apparently is directing the next installment in the Thor story) and Jemaine Clement who I almost always think is funny. They also play two of the vampires along with a couple other guys. This was largely improvised, hours and hours and hours of accumulated footage edited into a somewhat-coherent story. And as I mentioned up there, it's hilarious! If this isn't the funniest comedy I see this year, I'll be surprised.

Tons of visual humor, "Awakey-wakey," bow and arrow dartboard shenanigans, Vladislav the Poker, Nazi vampires, an alternative to mirrors, hitting a main artery ("So it didn't go great. On the upside, I think he had a really good time" is so quintessentially British) and then that shot with half a roll of paper towels, a line about a sandwich, an "erotic dance for my friends," a mask of crackers, a coffin masturbation gag. This, probably wisely, focuses less on story (although there is one) and more on just trying to make me giggle. And their home is visually perfect, just the right amount of darkness so that the comedy over it feels even more surprising.

I'm not sure how I feel about the werewolf characters.

Stop reading this because it isn't well written anyway, and just go watch this movie.


cory said...

I was pretty sure that you would like this, but I honestly can see how anyone with a sense of humor wouldn't. Of course vampires have been done to death, but I loved the different angle taken here. It wouldn't work if the characters weren't so likeable. The movie isn't trying to make some grand statement or have deeper meaning. It just tries to find the humor that organically comes from four very different personalities living the vampire life together in a house. The werewolves, the human they chose not to kill, and the party fiasco added just the right amount of wackiness. Along with "Inside Out", this is also my favorite comedy of the year (although I am shocked and a little ashamed to admit how much I enjoyed "Spy"). It is sweet, very quirky, and a lot of fun. Also a 16. Thanks for checking it out.

Shane said...

Thanks for the recommendation.

Spy, eh? I haven't acquired a taste for Melissa McCarthy, but I'll check it out eventually.

I put the horror movie you recommended on hold at the library and should watch it soon enough.