WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (2014) [Grimmfest 2014 Review]

Directed by: ,
Written by: ,
Starring: , , , , ,


Written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
Screened at Grimmfest 2014

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS follows the lives of Viago, Vladislav and Deacon, three vampires who share a house together in Wellington, New Zealand. A documentary crew capture their daily life where the vampires have to get to grips with new technology and differences in an ever-changing modern world.

Hilarious, rib-tickling vampire mockumentary, from the creator of Flight of the Conchords, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS is for horror fans what Spinal Tap is for metal enthusiasts. Taking all the iconic quirks synonymous with vampires and exploring them in a modern setting makes for plenty of belly laughs, such as no reflection in the mirror and only being able to open the curtains after dark. The trio of vampires each have their own personalities: Viago (Taika Waititi) is the sensitive romantic, the vampire who was turned during the height of fashion of the 1600’s who loves his silk scarves and has a thing about cleanliness. Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) is the lothario, a macho man who likes to look good for the ladies. Finally, there’s Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), the youngest of the trio and ‘bad boy’ of the group, who prefers to knit instead of doing the dishes. Petyr (Ben Fransham) is the fourth flat mate, but being so old (8000 years apparently), he’s not one to join in with the younger trio’s escapades. A documentary crew, who’ve been given immunity from the vampires, document their lives and how they interact with human society.

The make-up FX in WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS is incredible, particularly that of Petyr who is the spitting image of Nosferatu and has the best make-up for the character I’ve ever seen. For a film about vampires, there’s not really that much blood on show with a splash only where needed and more commonly used for comic effect, such as the ‘bloody dishes’. Despite the lack of real gore, the film still feels as much a horror-themed one as it does a comedy and combining the two works so well in this instance thanks to the witty gags that seem to fit in with the screenplay so naturally. Fans of dry humour will be in their element.

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS had the audience at Grimmfest 2014 roaring with laughter almost every other second. It’s a difficult task to make people laugh, nevermind giggle constantly throughout the running time of a movie, but WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS is the film that achieves just that. What Jemaine Clement and Taiki Waititi have crafted with their razor-sharp, witty script and screenplay, coupled with the exceptional performances from the duo, Jonathan Brugh, Ben Fransham, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer and Stuart Rutherford, make this film the laugh-out-loud hit of the year.

A stylish, sexy, blood-sucking spectacle, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS is a masterclass in comedy horror. Simply outstanding, the film is without a doubt an absolute must-see!

Rating: ★★★★★

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About Bat 4442 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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