What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows

(2014)

Some interviews with some vampires

Taika Waititi (Boy) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) are the writers, directors and stars of this vampire mockumentary. Unearthing a secret, supernatural society, otherwise known as a bunch of vampire flatmates in Wellington, the film introduces a world where friendship and camaraderie are just as important as feasting upon the flesh of mortals. Based on Waititi and Clement's 2006 short film of the same name.... More

"Consider the living quarters of vampires, and stodgy old castles in Transylvania may come to mind. But these aren’t your typical bloodsuckers. Viago (379 years old), Deacon (183 years old), Vladislav (862 years old), and Peter (8,000 years old) have chosen to share a flat in Wellington, New Zealand. Unfortunately for them, it’s hard to make new friends due to their constant thirst for blood. Without any mortal chums left to invite them in to all of the hip establishments around town, they’ve lost touch with the current social scene. Can these creatures of the night put aside their differences as roommates and adapt to modern society?" (Sundance Film Festival)Hide

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Flicks Review

Kiwi cinematic comedy comes of age with this winning mockumentary that fuses mass appeal with a wholly uncompromised New Zealand-ness. Beyond the pleasures of the film itself, it projects the idea of a New Zealand comedy community along the lines of the Apatow crew or the SNL gang, which enhances the proceedings to no end.... More

Nailing the low-key vibe necessary for any mockumentary to work, the unassuming film mines plenty of humour from both its Wellington flat setting, and the supernatural nature of its characters. Co-director/star Taika Waititi's charming dandy Viago is the viewer's guide into this world, but it's fellow director Jemaine Clement's Vladislav and co-star Jonathan Brugh's Deacon who generate most of the best jokes.

Clement's physicality has rarely been better employed - his mastery of movement is leagues beyond that of any Kiwi comic actor. Rhys Darby's small role as a local werewolf is perfectly balanced, and Jackie van Beek makes a big impression as a wannabe vampire – let's see more of her. Cori Gonzalez-Macuer's deadpan delivery often feels a little too flat, but he doesn't derail proceedings.

The utility on display in this film is remarkable – they clearly had very little money, but the humour never suffers for it. After this, nobody else in our part of the world has any excuses.

I've seen What We Do in the Shadows twice now, and it only got better on second viewing. It's an instant classic ready for enduring cult success, and one of the funniest films New Zealand has ever produced.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 13 ratings, 15 reviews
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BY freshdude superstar

Just like Rhys Darby (who appropriately plays the alpha werewolf), the movie just tries to hard to be funny, and mostly fails. 9 years in the making to deliver that ... seriously ?!
I admit I only saw the film recently after hearing many, many (too many) rave reviews, so I obviously had very high expectations, and they definitely were not met.
I did laugh a few times, but I definitely would not label the film as hilarious as so many have.

Had I seen it before the hype and without expectations,... More I may have found it a lot funnier. But I still would not put it on the high level of other great Kiwi features in 2014 (such as The Dark Horse, Housebound, The Last Saint, Everything We loved or Fantail).

And to top it all the film was given many undeserving NZ Film Awards: Best supporting actress should have gone to Rima Te Wiata (Housebound) and how can it get the best self funded film award when it was simply NOT self funded.

It appears something smells a bit fishy in the NZ film industry.Hide


BY Ponyboy lister

This isn't a film where you will die laughing but you will be smiling from ear to ear. Taika is so darn cute in this and Jermaine is his usual HAWT self. Classic kiwi comedy. The story could have done with a bit more work, nothing really happens, it's more of a character study.


BY Sawyer lister

I was amused by this film from start to finish but I only laughed out loud once. It was sort of like watching a group of friends you really like get drunk and tell funny stories. Really amusing.


BY Zamm superstar

SO funny! I Love love love the movie! :D


My sister and I loved this film. It was different, but enjoyable. Everyone om the cinema was laughing at the same time, which was hilarious!!!


Showing 5 of 15 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

93% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Reminded me a lot of Peter Jackson's early work... the jokes are just so out of left field, the blood flows in gushes of arterial spray and the complete random nature of the gags just tickle my funny bone in ways that I feel will hold up to repeat viewings. Full Review

  • Shaggy and amiable, made by people who actually get and understand the old-fashioned horror conventions they’re toying with.I can imagine watching this film a dozen more times. Full Review

  • A very funny Kiwi take on vampire lore and its application to the modern world... Ace writing and comic performances ensure love from the geek sector. Full Review

  • Some genre fans who prefer the silly to the satiric may bite, but the anemic pic isn't remotely weird or witty enough for cult immortality. Full Review

  • It shouldn't work as well as it does, but funny is funny, and this one had me cracking up often... Full Review

  • While unlikely to appeal to a general audience, this is a cinch for Conchords fans, documentary buffs, horror movie nuts, and all lovers of daffy, issues-free humour. Full Review

  • The witty dead-pan humour rained down like an unrelenting thunderstorm, leaving my sides sore and face aching.I challenge you to find a film funnier than this Kiwi comedy in 2014. Sharp and relentlessly funny, this film is an absolute riot. Full Review

  • The laughs are few and far between in this would-be satire, the humour is so undergraduate that it's almost an insult to university students to call it that. Full Review

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