What We Do In The Shadows
Bite Of The Conchords
Does this vampire mock- doc comedy from Jemaine Clement have bite?
Release Date: 21 November
15 | 85 minutes Directors: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement Cast: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Jonathan Brugh, Ben Fransham
Breathing new, undead life into the classic mockumentary, What We Do In The Shadows attacks the modern vampire flick from the Spinal Tap angle. And about time too.
Blending classic vampire lore with modern- day mundanity, it centres on a dusty, blood- stained mansion occupied by four very different vampires. Co- writers Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement ( of Flight Of The Conchords fame) star alongside Jonathan Brugh and Ben Fransham, all playing eccentric immortals desperately trying to navigate the world as we know it – despite the fact that their ages range between 170 and 6,000. Always a nightmare when deciding what to wear to the local nightclub – especially when they’re required to be invited in first.
The secret to the film’s success lies in the pitch- perfect comedic performances; the towering improvisation skills of every cast member mean the jokes are dark, bloodied and endlessly flowing. From quibbling over whose lineage is the most fearsome to being introduced to the internet by their only mortal friend Stu ( who they all agree is a bloody good guy), Waititi, Clement and crew wring deliciously twisted humour from every scene – not to mention creating some genuinely wonderful visuals. A deep affection for the genre is evident throughout, with shades of Nosferatu, The Shining, Hammer’s Dracula and Fright Night.
Rhys Darby ( Clement’s Flight Of The Conchords co- star) puts in an effortlessly charming performance as the head of the surprisingly well- spoken local werewolf gang (“Remember, we’re werewolves, not swearwolves”), giving our toothy protagonists a pack of furry nemeses to battle against.
As with any mockumentary, the plot takes a back seat to the comic setpieces, but thanks to energetic performances, brilliant observations and the pure black silliness of it all, a little narrative meandering is easy to forgive.
Taking a sharp fang to the bloated, sparkly monster that is the modern vampire genre, What We Do In The Shadows gleefully tears through the make- up to reveal the putrid innards within. Horror fans and comedy lovers rejoice – proper vampires are back. Natasha Hodgson
What We Do In The Shadows began its life as a short film Waititi and Clement made over a weekend back in 2005.
So just who should be in charge of the cleaning rota?