MIFF 2014: What We Do in the Shadows
What We Do in the Shadows does to vampires what This Is Spinal Tap did to rock and roll: mercilessly skewers its overblown mythology while also completely respecting and adhering to its accepted tropes. And like This is Spinal Tap, What We Do in the Shadows is achingly, hilariously funny.
Written and directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, the film is structured like a The Real World-style reality television show, with a documentary crew following three centuries-old vampires living together in a suburban Wellington share house. Viago (Waititi), Vladislav (Clement) and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) proudly take the audience through a tour of their lives as they prepare for The Unholy Masquerade, a gathering of all the dark creatures — zombies, werewolves, succubi — living in Wellington.
A loving, biting satire of not only vampires in pop culture but also share-housing and life in the small cities of New Zealand, What We Do in the Shadows stretches its deceptively simple premise into one of the most brutally brilliant comedies of the 21st century.