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Sunday, October 4, 2020

Review: What We Do In The Shadows

Director: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

Screenplay: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

Year: 2014

A group of filmmakers prepares to capture in camera a unique but dangerous event. The filmmakers follow a group of vampires that live together in an old flat and record their dynamics. All this effort has the intention of documenting a unique event known as the Unholy Masquerade. 

“What We Do In The Shadows” doesn’t have a concrete plot, but it doesn’t need it. Instead, it adopts a mockumentary style where we follow these four vampires’ that live together in a flat. A simple concept that has, as a result, one of the best horror comedies around.

The group of vampires is composed by Viago (Taika Waititi; “Jojo Rabbit”), Deacon (Johnny Brugh; “Mega Time Squad”), Vladislav (Jemaine Clement; “Men in Black 3”), and Petyr (Ben Fransham; “30 Days of Night”) and each of them represents a vampire generation and stereotype. This creates a fun dynamic among them, as well as several references and jokes about vampire movies and their rules. The references and influence of classic vampire movies such as "Nosferatu", "Interview with the Vampire", "Blade", "The Lost Boys", and even "Twilight" take the movie from beginning to end and are an essential part of its development and jokes.

Just by seeing how the rokes are distributed, one can guess that there was not a great budget for this production, but it doesn't affect the experience at all. The limitations they might have faced because of a lack of budget, the directors and writer Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, who also star, overcome with authority with creativity in the visuals and the script. The film never suffers from poor visuals, and the special effects are done excellently, offering flying vampires, vampires transforming into bats, among others. 

The script is the cornerstone of “What We Do In The Shadows”, which doesn't follow a traditional format and could be argued that lacks plot. However, the conversations and interviews between the vampires are so funny and entertaining that it doesn't need a clear plot; we have fun just by being around these characters. It isn't like the story wanders without purpose, and we do see the development of several characters and situations.

“What We Do In The Shadows” leans more towards the comedy, but it never forgets that it is a horror movie or that its main characters are vampires. Vampires are synonymous with blood, and it this the movie doesn't disappoint, offering gallons of it, but even on the bloody scenes, it finds a way to be funny. It also keeps present the documentary style, which gives it plenty of realism to the endless absurd and unrealistic situations they show. 

It is not only one of the best horror comedies available, but “What We Do In The Shadows” is also an excellent vampire movie. The humor is extremely effective and ever-present, but it doesn't forget to parody and pay homage to vampires and exposing their characteristics, such as their appetite for blood. “What We Do In The Shadows” is the kind of movie that can lift the mood of any horror fan based on fun and non-stop laughter even on its worst day.

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