What We Do in the Shadows
Directors: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Year of Release: 2015
Running Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi's latest film takes two ingredients that on the surface seem incredibly played out; the mockumentary format and vampires, and then makes something genuinely clever by combining them. Though there are obvious visual gags and expected jokes riffing on vampire mythology, there's also something endearing about the characterizations here that raises the film above the level of mere parody. Focusing on a pair of vampires living together in a New Zealand flat being followed around by a documentary crew, What We Do In The Shadows presents us with a Christopher Guest-style aesthetic that initially feels old-hat, but quickly reveals itself to be the perfect distillation of old-world vampires dealing with the trappings of the modern world. Additionally, the sharply comedic work of Waititi, Clement, and Jonathan Bugh as different types in the vampire canon is crucial in highlighting each member's distinct personality amongst buckets of spurting blood, riotous bat fights, run-ins with roving werewolves, and the likes of a Holy Masquerade Ball. A hilarious, daft, and surprisingly sweet-natured film that works best of all because there's real affection for these characters.