«What We Do in the Shadows» is a comedy written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, who are both known from their work on the show «Flight of the Conchords», a delightfully absurd little work of art.
The story is told «mockumentary» style and revolves around a collocation between four vampires: Viago, a very mannered man, vampire since the 18th century, Vladislav, a famous vampire since the Middle Age who was known to have great powers, Deacon, the youngest of them (barely 200 years old) and is defined as the «bad boy» of the band, and finally Petyr, a senile vampire that is 8,000 years old. The band has a human to provide them with new victims, which in this story is Nick who will suddenly become a vampire and disrupt the daily life of the band, unaccustomed to the ways and customs of life in the 21st century.
The film is a hilarious comedy with a gothic atmosphere, perfectly mixed with an absurd humor that plays well with the codes of vampire and horror movies in general. This shift allows for memorable, standout scenes, playing with the myths about vampires like the fact that they cannot see their reflections, the rivalry with the werewolves, the fear of the sunlight, their in habitudes towards modern technology etc.
The documentary-like film style helps the narration and gives a more intimate view of the Vampires everyday life. In addition to letting the movie parody and mock the absurdity of other found footage horror movies that came before it.
Beyond the pure and enjoyable, goofy fun of the movie, it does have a few inept and relatively interesting reflections on what it means to be immortal.
However, I wouldn’t recommend the movie to those who are not necessarily fans of the absurd, cult film comedy genre, which remains a type of humor that does not appeal to everyone. Although, I truly think that the movie perfectly hit what it was aiming to be, the references in general are often clear and fairly original. The film is a line-up of jokes for an hour and half, so it is targeted towards the eccentric fan base.
Nonetheless, What We Do in the Shadows is fun. With a simple story without any sub-plots, the film is primarily a very accurate comedy, in addition of being quite original.
Text: Leo Darcourt-Gahan – email@example.com