Sundance Review: What We Do in the Shadows


Director:Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi

Cast:Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Rhys Darby

Running Time:87 Minutes


Following in the same vein as Best in Show and This is Spinal Tap"¦ Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clements's mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows is sure to be a crowd pleaser. This film feels like The Real World: New Zealand, Vampire Edition.

The film starts by stating a group of vampires are being documented by the New Zealand Programming Board for what seems to be research and educational purposes. Clement himself stated they are documentarian truth seekers, so naturally I believe him.  Clement and Waititi are on double duty writing/directing and starring in the film. We are first introduced to Waititi's character Viago, the metrosexual vampire of the group. He shares a flat with 3 other vampires: Vladislav, the womanizer, played by Clement; Deacon, the rebel played by Jonathan Brugh; and  Petry, the grumpy old vampire played by Ben Fransham, who isolates himself in the basement.

The film chronicles the day in the life of these four friends who happen to be vampires. The audience witnesses how they sleep, eat, socialize, and find love"¦ the only caveat being they suck blood from humans for nourishment. They come up with creative ways to lure humans back to their Transylvanian castle, sometimes using hypnosis, charm, or sometimes the use of other humans.

The thing that this film does so well is that it humanizes these characters and makes them lovable, charming, and interesting, even when we see them sink their teeth into an unsuspecting victim.  For those of you that enjoy what you would call British humor, such as Borat and Bruno, this film is for you.


About Matt Kerwin

Matt Kerwin

Leave a Reply