Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sean Kelly

Blu-Ray Review: What We Do in the Shadows

 

WhatWeDoInTheShadows

What We Do in the Shadows

2015/Color

Unison/Video Services Corp.

86 Minutes

SKonMovies Review

Release Date: May 26, 2015
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Arriving on DVD and blu-ray today is the vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows from co-directors co-directors Taika Waititi (Eagle vs Shark) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords). 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.

Film in Brief

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 bat fight between Deacon and Nick.  The film should also be well-received by fans of Flight of the Conchords, since in addition to Jemaine Clement,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.

Disc Features and Extras

The blu-ray release for What We Do in the Shadows boasts that it has over 100 minutes of bonus features.  Probably the biggest omission from the disc is a proper behind-the-scenes documentary.  Since much of the promotion for What We Do in the Shadows involved treating the film like it was a real documentary about vampires, it would have been a nice touch if the bonus features on the disc played up to this fact.

The first two sets of features on the disc are a poster gallery and a photo album.  While most discs allow you to manually scroll through photos, both these galleries are shown as brief video slideshows, which means that you would have to pause to linger on an individual image.

The next section of features is entitled “Interviews,” which consists of seven interview clips of characters of the film.  It is unknown whether or not these interviews were originally meant to be part of the film itself or if they are additional footage of the actors in character.  Either way, they are enjoyable to watch.

Next up is a section entitled “video extras,” which is essentially miscellaneous video clips.  The highlight here is the original 2006 short film.  Running just under a half hour in length, the original short follows many of the same beats as the feature, though it has a much more low budget feel with a few notable differences in the characters.  Many of the other video clips seem to be extended sections from the film, though there’s also a clip of the character of Stu giving a tour of his office and Viago and Vladislav visiting a film festival in Transylvania.

Rounding off the extras on the disc are six promo videos made for the New Zealand release of the film and a dozen deleted scenes.

Summary

The blu-ray release for What We Do in the Shadows features a satisfactory collection of extras, even though a proper behind-the-scenes look at the film would have been greatly appreciated.  Also, the music on the menu is a bit on the irritating side.  That all said, this release is still worth checking out for fans of the film.

Film Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT
Disc Rating: ★ ★ ★ 1/2 | FAIR 

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).