What We Do In The Shad­ows

Un­dead funny

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Dvd & Blu-Ray -

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.”

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