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What We Do in the Shadows - Film Review

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by rujihw (subscribe)
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon
Published August 18th 2014
A brilliantly hilarious mockumentary on modern day vampires
What We Do In The Shadows is a New Zealand horror comedy mockumentary film about a group of vampires living under one roof in Wellington.

What We Do In The Shadows
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.


The film is directed and written by Taika Waititi (Boy, Eagle vs Shark) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), who also star as the main characters in the film.

What We Do In The Shadows
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.


The film begins with a few scenes depicting the everyday lives of vampires Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav. Like ordinary people, they have to deal with mundane house chores.

What We Do In The Shadows
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.


But because they are vampires, a couple of things stood out to be different:

1) They sleep during the day and only become active at night. Vampires are immortal, but not when it comes to their archenemy - sunlight.

2) They have been around for decades or centuries, and in some cases, millenniums. Take for example the mute character, Petyr, an age-old vampire who apparently has lived for 8,000 years.

What We Do In The Shadows
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.


3) They have to feast on human blood. Although Twilight has brainwashed us in believing that a great love story could happen between a human and a vampire, ultimately vampires have to hunt and kill for human blood (#deliciousnecks).

What We Do In The Shadows
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.


4) They can fly.

What We Do In The Shadows
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.


5) They can't see their own reflection in the mirror.

What We Do In The Shadows
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.


The plot (spoiler alert!):
One fine day, Deacon asked his assistant (Jackie) to find him a few victims to feast on, and this was when the character Nick was introduced into the film. Invited to a dinner at the mansion, Nick started to feel uneasy and attempted to escape. But he ran into Petyr, the creepiest looking vampire, who immediately feast on the poor Nick. One thing led to another, Nick turned into a vampire too.

The addition of new vampire Nick changed the dynamic of the relationships. We saw Nick's struggles as he transitioned from human to vampire, but he soon grew to like his newfound eternal life. Nick kept in touch with his human friend, Stu, and brought him along to hang out with the trio. As an IT professional, Stu introduced the trio to modern society through technology and internet, where Viago managed to track down his ex lover. The vampires made a pact to never kill Stu as they came to love him for who he is.

As time progresses, Nick broke a few rules, such as broadcasting the fact that he is a vampire, which in turn invited a vampire hunter to their mansion. This led to undesired consequences. As a result, Nick was kicked out of the mansion and forced to sever all ties with the vampires.

A few months later, Stu and Nick bumped into the trio at an annual party meant for the undead. Stu's life was threatened when the other vampires discovered that he is a human. Nick, along with the trio, tried to rescue Stu from danger. However, as they were escaping, they ran into a pack of werewolves (yes apparently werewolves and vampire coexist just like in Twilight). As to what happens next, I will leave it up to you to find out.

What We Do In The Shadows
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.


Some interesting facts about the film:
1) The interior of the house was created entirely from recycled materials.
2) The entire performance was improvised.
3) A total of 125 hours footage was filmed, but only 90 minutes was shown.
4) Stu is an actual IT professional in real life.

What We Do In The Shadows
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.


My verdict: This is a film that is definitely worth watching. The main casts of the film are some of New Zealand's prominent comedians, so you are guaranteed more than a few laughs. While taking a light-hearted approach to life and death, broken heart and lost love, the film explores themes such as friendships between vampires and humans, and whether it is possible at all for vampires to have feelings when their heart is cold and dead.



In selected cinemas nationwide from September 4.
Rating: M
Runtime: 86 mins
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*rujihw was invited as a guest
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Why? Because it will make you laugh
When: From September 4th 2014
Where: Australia nationwide
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