What We Do In The Shadows
Release Date: 13 April 2014 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD Directors: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement Cast: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez- Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, Ben Fransham
Taking two tired subgenres ( vampires and the mockumentary), and giving both a much- needed shot in the arm, What We Do In The Shadows plunges a hilarious stake into bloodsucker lore. Set in Wellington, New Zealand, it’s a faux fly- on- the- wall doc about four flatsharing vamps trying to fit into the 21st century world.
So far, so Being Human – and there are plenty of parallels with the ace BBC Three series, from the protagonists’ desire to be normal (- ish), to the vamps’ uneasy relationship with werewolves. The difference is that this is laugh- outloud funny from start to finish.
Co- directors/ writers/ stars Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi nail the mock- doc format as well as anybody has since This Is Spinal Tap. They opt to play it straight, revelling in the mundanity of the vamps’ existence, while allowing gags to flow effortlessly from the perfectly formed characters and situations. As Viago, Vladislav, Deacon and Petyr struggle to recapture their glory days from centuries before, the movie has fun subverting all the old clichés.
But the main reason the film works is that, for all their brutal blood lust, there’s something incredibly human and vulnerable about the vampires. They’re likeable, and just want to be loved – reality TV stars that the public would readily take to their hearts.
Extras: Lots of extra footage here – in the form of deleted scenes ( 27 minutes), extended character interviews ( 18 minutes) and more – but not much that actually adds to the movie. You get a structureless behind- the- scenes doc ( 18 minutes), Viago and Vlad’s trip to the real- life Transylvania ( four minutes), and the original 27- minute short that inspired the movie. Richard Edwards Clement and Taika first played with these themes years ago, in a routine where Taika’s vamp character heckled Clement’s.
Gags flow effortlessly from the situations
“I’ve bought some brand new toothpaste though.”