*this review is part of the “Now Streaming” series. “What We Do in the Shadows” can be viewed on HBO GO*
Ah, the struggles of being a modern vampire: Trying to find a virgin at a nightclub to eat. Running into a pack of douchey werewolves on the street. Being best friends with a human! Watching videos of a sunrise because the actual sunrise will kill you.
“What We Do in the Shadows” documents these and more dealings in the life of vampires. It is a mockumentary about 4 vampires living together in a flat in New Zealand, and it is absolutely hilarious.
Think vampire movies are getting old?? Well, they kind of freaking are. But “What We Do in the Shadows” is so fresh and unique that it is in it’s own class.
It is a New Zealand film, different than the in-your-face comedies many American studios produce today. The comedy is subtle at most points, but it is terrific. Any fan of British comedy will love this movie.
The vampires make simple activities in their day-to-day lives hilarious with their interactions and stark personalities, and seeing them talk about eating other humans is fantastic.
Most of the comedy comes from the blending of traditional vampire lore (sleeping in a coffin, not having a reflection, aversion to crucifixes, etc.) with normal life. It creates a unique film about the lives of the undead, like nothing I had seen before. The writing is incredibly fast-paced and witty, and the characters are incredibly outlandish and self-deprecating.
Here’s a two minute clip from the film.
It doesn’t just include vampires, though. There are werewolves, zombies, witches, demons, vampire hunters, and even a lovable human, Stu, the IT guy, who apparently happens to be played by a guy named Stu, the IT guy. You will love Stu, the IT guy.
I had a great time watching this film, and when I wasn’t laughing, I was amused and impressed with all of the creative ways the filmmakers used documentary camerawork, sound effects, production design, vampire stereotypes, and comedy create a terrific film.
The film clocks in at an easy 87 minutes, and I was so sad when it was over. I will definitely be checking out “Flight of the Conchords”, a cult TV show from the creators of the film.
The movie is so hilarious, so tongue-in-cheek, and so creative. It is relatively short, and you won’t regret it.