WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

★★★★

Dir: Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement

(2014)

This incredibly enjoyable Kiwi vampire mockumentary from the creators of the irresistible Flight of the Conchords drops a team of unheard and largely unseen film makers into an undead flat share. What we do in the Shadows is a rapid fire comedy, intent on taking the proverbial out of the recent Twilight films (among others) by focusing on 4 pale-faced creatures of the night who are forced to come to terms with the modern world when they turn a young and not too bright Wellington lad into one of them.

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While Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) bicker over house hold chores and have problems dressing to hit the nightclubs (difficult with no reflection) the 8,000 year old Nosferatu like Petyr (Ben Fransham) stays mostly shut in his tomb. When Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) is turned by the Max Shrek like creature after a “feeding mishap” the trio are initiated into the world of guest-lists, selfies, YouTube, Skype and social media and What we do in the Shadows really hits its high note.

It’s mostly a one trick pony but the trick is a rather endearing one with co-directors Waititi and Clement presenting the vamps as sort of perpetual teenagers; Awkward and painfully out of touch much like the grand daddies of the genre; Rocking buffoons Spinal Tap. The performances are timed to perfection with the style often touching on the found footage genre’s best efforts while poking fun at anything within prodding distance. The duo also throw in a dead pan pack of werewolves led by the always hilarious Rhys Derby; An alpha male with a strict regime and a dislike for curse words; “werewolves not swearwolves”. It’s great, brain-dead fun which aims at rather obvious targets but takes them down with economic style and a maniacal laugh.

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