What We Do in the Shadows

A group of four vampires live in a house together in New Zealand. They decide to let a documentary film crew follow them around to film their daily lives. Many centuries ago these were masterful, terrifying vampires that could do whatever they wanted. Now they live like your typical roommates having to pay rent, divide chores, and try to pick up girls in clubs. As the crew follows this odd group, you begin to realize they are some of the most ridiculous vampires you have ever seen. It isn’t until a new roommate gets added into the mix that this group finally steps up their vampire game.

This is a great film to show someone who isn’t necessarily interested in the horror genre. It is horror, comedy, and mocumentary all rolled into one. That being said, it is very light on the horror, but it’s definitely not light on the humor! This film delivered on the laughs constantly and in ways that I did not expect. They did a great job of creating a very simple story about a group of bachelor roommates with incredibly boring lives, but making it hilarious by making the characters ancient vampires. The vampire Viago (Taika Waititi) was especially hilarious. He acted as the narrator of the film, introducing us to all the characters and how they all live their undead lives.

All of the main actors did a tremendous job. What made the performances so enjoyable was the subtlety of them. Most of the humor tends to be on the sarcastic side, or a character will say something that is clearly the opposite of reality (although that character will definitely think it’s the truth). While I believe the standout performance was definitely Waititi, Jemaine Clement (Vladislav) and Jonny Brugh (Deacon) were truly funny as well. This is the kind of film where even the actors that had smaller, two-line roles were able to stand out and do or say something so simple that still made you crack up.

Another great aspect of the film was the special effects. There were not many special effects, but the ones that were added to the film were perfect. What made them so perfect is that they were delightfully cheesy. The two main types of effects were fake blood spewing from the vampires’ victims and what I assume was string to make the vampires appear to fly/hover. Both of these effects looked so ridiculous, but in the best way possible because it added to the cheesy feel of the film. There was also an amazing scene where two vampires are seemingly battling on the floor, the walls, and the ceiling. I would guess that this scene was filmed on a set where they are able to spin the room so it appears to us that they are sideways and upside down when they are actually right-side up the entire time. However they achieved this scene, it was hilarious and very fun to watch.

As I said before, this is a movie I would definitely suggest horror fans share with their friends or family that may be weary of horror films. It is not scary at all, it is so amusing, and it perfectly fuses comical scenarios with creatures typically associated with scary movies. Of course, it is great to watch with people who genuinely enjoy horror as well. This genre bender has aspects that will appeal to practically any viewer. I would have to say that this is one of my favorite comedies so far of 2015.


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