In some ways, this film is a perfect cinematic experience.
It’s not long at all, clocking in at 85 minutes, and it has an entirely singular sense of humor. Well, its creators do—they made Flight of the Conchords for HBO. The world is realized surprisingly effectively, and there are moments of pure brilliance.
Simply, it’s great and short, so you can watch it almost anytime.
The idea is that there’s this thing called the Unholy Masquerade in New Zealand, where all the undead come together to celebrate, and a documentary crew has been given permission to film a house full of vampires. You have Viago (Taika Waititi), Vlad (Jemaine Clement), Deacon (Jonny Brugh), and others, and their personalities have all grown more eccentric over the years. The mockumentary film centers around their time leading up to the masquerade.
If “You haven’t cleaned the dishes in five years!” makes you chuckle, then you’re going to love this film.
What makes it so brilliant is that it seems true to life. There are plenty of special effects in this film ranging from flight to transfiguration into bats, and I swear to you it looks real. Not only that, but it’s all used for comedic effect. The filmmakers must’ve taken great pains to create an atmosphere as convincing as this—though assuredly fictional—and make the work seem effortless.
Co-writer and director Taika Waititi has a new film coming out called Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and this film has made me excited for it. It’s like this one is so good, I have an automatic confidence that the next will be too, and an enthusiasm to see it.
What We Do in the Shadows is quirky and distinct and hilarious, and I suggest you find a way to see it as soon as possible. I just saw it for the first time in March, and this is my second time since. I love it so much. Who knows how many more times I’ll see it before the year is out.
What We Do in the Shadows is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.