Directors: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
Starring: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh
Vampires can be funny, and not in an ironic way. Who’d have thought it. After the Twilight series, and the ever decreasing standards of films involving Bram Stoker’s befanged creatures, we had started to lose all hope. But then came What We Do in the Shadows, which is Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement and fellow Kiwi Taika Waititi take on what vampires get up to in their everyday lives.
What We Do in the Shadows is a ‘mockmentary’, which follows the lives of Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) – three flatmates who are attempting to live relatively normal lives in the suburbs of New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, all whilst trying to get their fair share of human blood. They have to deal with mundane chores around the house, paying rent, getting into clubs, dealing with werewolves and finding their next victims to feed on.
We’re vampires, we don’t put down towels.
What We Do in the Shadows excels when it concentrates on the interactions between the vampires who, after such a long period of time being undead together, have become friends and have designed a bizarre, yet functional, way of living in the modern society. Waititi, Clement and Brugh all play their roles brilliantly, in a wonderfully deadpan manner, which offers up some big laughs, and the film works best when it sticks to our vampire trio.
There are fantastically funny set pieces in this film, involving werewolves, floating vacuuming and vampires going for a night out on the town. Each individual scene is funny in its own right however, at times it does feel as if it’s simply a series of amusing sketches, which doesn’t always compliment the film as a whole.
Moreover, due to the fact that it’s based on a short comedy skit that the trio did previously, the premise is at times stretched a bit thin, and the film does lag somewhat in the middle.
Yet, despite this, What We Do in the Shadows is one of the funniest films of the year, and proves that you don’t have to go down the route that most modern comedies are going down nowadays. You can still be clever and funny at the same time, and writers/directors Clement and Waititi are the perfect embodiment of this. They are two men who really understand comedy and have a good track record in delivering entertaining and interesting comedic films. Long may this continue.
Here’s a trailer, just to get you in the mood for some hilarious vampire shenanigans: