HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  What We Do in the Shadows Biting Wit
Year: 2014
Director: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Stars: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, Ben Fransham, Rhys Darby, Jackie van Beek, Elena Stejko, Jason Hoyte, Karen O'Leary, Mike Minogue, Chelsie Preston Crayford, Ian Harcourt, Ethel Robinson
Genre: Horror, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: In Wellington, New Zealand, not many people are aware of the nightlife there. Not the clubs and bars, but the folks who exist outside of daylight hours, specifically the vampire community, and to shine a spotlight on the culture a local film crew has been allowed access to a house where four of the creatures live. The filmmakers all wear crosses and have the subjects' sincere guarantee that they will not be harmed, so they have nothing to fear for having their blood drained inadvertently, which offers plenty of time for us as viewers of this documentary to observe and understand the vampires as they go about their business. Of varying ages but all of European extraction, they will surprise the audience wanting to know more, and some drama may be captured...

What We Do in the Shadows was another collaboration from actors-writers-directors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, who had worked together before on the cult hit Eagle vs Shark, but if anything this garnered an even stronger following. The comedy took its cue from the Belgian horror film Man Bites Dog, which too adopted as its plot a film crew traipsing around after a killer, only in this effort the humour was less withering and caustic and more after the fashion of mockumentaries Christopher Guest crafted through improvisation, thereby making it the This is Spinal Tap of vampire movies. If it wasn't quite as consistently funny as that, nor as savagely insightful as the Belgian work, enough of it hit the mark it was aiming for.

Indeed, there were gags in this, all the more impressive for being thought up on the hoof, that were genuinely hilarious, and that stemmed from the approach of making the supernatural amusingly banal and mundane, as it would seem to you if you were an immortal being whose love of life - or undeath - had been worn down through centuries of the same damn thing after another. After all, once you'd fed, what else was there to do but hang around aimlessly until the sun rose, whereupon you would be back in your lair, sound asleep until you repeated the process for the umpteenth time. This sense of the grindingly ordinary affecting even the most remarkable of beings proved a rich source of the jokes, that juxtaposition of the fantastic and the tedious.

At first we see how the tedium is wearing thin on the quartet, with an argument about who cleans up and does the dishes leading to a hissing, floating face-off, and that sets the tone: the amazing brought down to earth with a thud. Two of the four bloodsuckers were played by the directors: Clement was a Vlad the Impaler-style Eastern European chap called Vladislav and Waititi was a younger dandy called Viago who had wound up in New Zealand after following a lost love, only for a lack of postage on his coffin leading him to arrive eighteen months late and with the object of his affection long since settled and married. This doesn't stop him pining for her by hanging around outside her retirement home, the now-ninetysomething oblivious to his presence.

Scenes like that spoke to a poignancy regarding the march of time that the film didn't do much to capitalise on; they were present, but not really as effective as the moments where they went all out to make you laugh. The plot, as much as something this casually constructed could be called as such, saw a new member in their small clan, Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), who is lured by Jackie (Jackie van Beek) who is the familiar of the deeply insensitive Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) - the fourth vampire is a Nosferatu sort who has no lines. Nick is turned instead of simply drained, and becomes a problem, though he does bring Stu (Stuart Rutherford), a software analyst, into the fold, bringing them up to date with technology newer than a wind-up gramophone. But Nick begins to tell all and sundry of his new status, and soon they are in jeopardy, as are the various other subcultures like the werewolves (led by Rhys Darby playing it like a social worker). It doesn't look like it's going to end happily, and you could argue it eventually won't, but for a shadowy story this was bright and engaging. Music by Plan 9.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1248 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: