By Lisa Nault
Vampires rooming together in modern New Zealand while being filmed by a “documentary crew:” how could this not be hilarious?
“What We Do in the Shadows” is a mockumentary-style film that follows three vampires who are trying to fulfill their basic vampire needs but are having struggles with mundane problems that they did not have to deal with centuries ago. For those who do not know what a mockumentary is, think of the television show “The Office” and how that is filmed.
The concept of vampires in the modern world is not a new idea. However, this film manages to bring a huge array of new creative ideas to the screen. The joke of vampires having no reflection and thus not being able to see how they look is old, yet directors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi make it humorous again. The vampires cannot see themselves so they have each vampire draw one another when they are getting ready to go out on the town. Their art skills are terrible and they have to draw each time they change outfits in order to see if it looks good.
The fact that vampires and werewolves do not get along is a common theme, yet “What We Do in the Shadows” once again adds new flare to the old shtick. The two groups pass each other on the street and a small battle of wit occurs. The highlight of this particular scene goes to the werewolves, who tell the vampires hissing to “say it not spray it” and must remind themselves that they are “werewolves, not swear-wolves.”
The film also does a very good job at incorporating traditional vampire myths into the story. They can hypnotise people, turn into bats, and they sleep in coffins or small spaces. There is also an awesome bat fight that happens in the film.
The characters are all very likeable and interesting, which helps the story. Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, and Jonathan Brugh are wonderful in their roles but my personal favorites are Stuart Rutherford, who played Stu the human, and Ben Fransham as the eldest vampire Petyr (who donned the classic Nosferatu look).
“What We Do in the Shadows” is not only funny, but it is also very endearing. When the vampires learn how to use the Internet from Stu, they go online to watch a video of a sunrise, something they have not seen in decades. The moment is small, but that’s all it needs to be.
Another vampire is kind and whenever he makes a kill, he treats his victim to a nice evening since it is their last night alive and they should be treated well.
The issues the vampires have to face can revolve around vampire hunters or whose turn it is to do the dishes. The mockumentary style added to these issues and provided extra humor, since every once in a while the characters would reference the camera crew.
“What We Do in the Shadows” is the funniest mockumentary film I have ever seen—and I have seen many. From beginning to end, the entire theater was filled with laughter. I highly recommend seeing this film when it comes out because it is no longer playing in theaters.