Friday, April 3, 2015

What We Do in the Shadows

Another movie review...

Have you seen What We Do in the Shadows?

One of the funniest films I have seen. And one of the few vampire films that deal with their everyday business of being vampires. I have heard it called the "Spinal Tap" of vampire movies, and that is the best description.

Seriously, you need to see this film.

There are so many things to like about it.

  • Who knew New Zealand had a large vampire population?
  • Vampires as room mates (flatmates). Interesting concept.
  • Werewolves are more like a support group.
  • Stu.*

Although not a true horror. Shawn of the Dead was still a zombie movie with more laughter. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil turned the "kids hunted by rednecks" upside down, but still had some good horror bits (played for laughs more than scares). What We Do in the Shadows plays down the horror, turning much of the vampire tropes on their heads. The ending does includes a violent scene with the werewolves, but the way it is shot, it comes across as bad footage.

Instead the film deals with the nightly problems vampires have. Such as, how do you know you look good if you can't use a mirror? Or how to get into a club, if you have to be invited in? How embarrassing, but necessary, having a familiar can be.

We see the stereotypes of vampires played with. Vlad "the Poker" is a parody of Dracula. Viago is your dandy, gentleman, vampire. Petyr the Nosferatu that lives in the basement. Deacon is the rude, peasant stock. And finally Nick is the modern twist, who has the hardest adjusting. Thank goodness for his mate Stu.

There are some great sub plots. Such as "The Beast" and Viago's unrequited love for a woman that he followed to New Zealand. But what keeps you watching is how real it seems.

For a vampire film, this one feels the most realistic. It actually has the looks of a real camera crew finding a group of vampires and following them around. Some of the special effects are so well done that you don't realize it was a special effect. The bat fight is a great example. The different vampires and other creatures you meet in the film, feel as though you could accidently stumble upon them.

Speaking of other creatures, a small bit, but one I enjoy, is the zombie that talks about the problems zombies have and speaks in a well articulated voice. The closest to that portrayal, is Reg from Discworld.

In America, right now, this film is hard to find. In June the DVD should be released. If you come across it, watch it.

* Stu is played by Stu Rutherford, who is actually an IT guy. And now he can call himself an actor as well.  IT Guy Turns Accidental Film Star
by Mari Miniatt