From co-directors Taika Waititi (Eagle vs Shark) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) comes this mockumentary about a group of vampires living together. A documentary crew follows 379 year old Viago (Taika Waititi), 183 year old Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and 862 year old Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) as they live together in modern Wellington, New Zealand. The three vampires’ lives get more complicated when their 8000 year old Nosferatu-like flatmate Petyr (Ben Fransham) turns their intended victim Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) into a new vampire, who begins to show the three the ways of the modern world.
The vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows is structured as if it were a real documentary about a group of vampires living together. This includes the difficulties that a vampire faces in the modern world, which includes not being able to enter bars, without being invited in by the bouncer.
The main dramatic arc of the film comes with the addition of Nick to the group, who is the ex-boyfriend of Deacon’s human familiar Jackie (Jackie van Beek). Nick still has a lot to learn about being a vampire, as he doesn’t exactly keep his status a secret from people, which leads to some consequences later on in the film. Nick also brings along his human best friend Stu (Stuart Rutherford), who the group tends to like more than Nick. The events of What We Do in the Shadows all leads into a top secret event known as the Unholy Masquerade, including a confrontation with Valdislav’s arch-nemesis, known only as The Beast.
What We Do in the Shadows is quite a funny and enjoyable mockumentary, which includes some quite hilarious vampire hijinks, including among other things, Viago’s somewhat messy eating habits and a even a full-on bat fight between Deacon and Nick. The film presents itself as if it were a deal documentary about a group of vampires living together in Wellington, complete with a “New Zealand Documentary Board” logo that appears at the start of the film.
The film should also be well-received by fans of Flight of the Conchords, since in addition to Jemaine Clement as Vladislav, Conchords co-star Rhys Darby makes a humorous appearance in the film as Anton, the leader of a werewolf pack that are rivals to the vampires. Altogether, What We Do in the Shadows turned out to be a pretty fun film.
8 | LIKED IT
What We Do in the Shadows opens today at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto