What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review
Thousands of documentaries have been made over time, but none have featured a certain subset of our population. This notorious minority has seen its reputation dragged through the mud in recent years, with movies portraying them as everything from sinister killers to, even worse, sparkling vegetarians.
Now is their time in the sun. Well, maybe not the sun.
What We Do in the Shadows reveals the true nature of vampires, misunderstood creatures that are actually caring, creative and simply looking to maintain their place in society. Sure, they sometimes crave human blood or get a little upset when they don’t get their way--and yes, they don’t do well with crucifixes or werewolves--but they are just like any other undead person.
Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi write, direct and star in the movie, a mockumentary that is as funny as it is absurd. Jonny Brugh and Cori Gonzalez-Macuer co-star as fellow vampires who get along for the most part, but like in any friendships that have lasted for hundreds of years, let the fangs come out every once in a while.
Simple in execution and brilliant by design, What We Do in the Shadows may look and sound stupid, but it’s not. Well written and witty throughout, the movie offers plenty of laughs and chuckle-inducing moments. The humor is British and dry, but the silliness of the concept and the situations the vampires get themselves into make the movie more accessible.
As good as all of the actors are, Waititi is by far the best--he nails his role with precision (he did, after all write it), and often doesn’t have to say a thing to evoke laughter.
At only 85 minutes, What We Do in the Shadows is brisk and fast-paced. Its form of comedy won’t appeal to everyone, but vampires exist and this documentary more than does them justice.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.