Monday, January 26, 2015

What We Do in the Shadows - A Mockumentary for the Ages

What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary, a la Spinal Tap, about Petyr, Vladislav, Viago, and Deacon – a group of flat mates who also happen to be vampires.

The four friends live in New Zealand, and spend their time playing music together...


...dancing...


...getting dressed up and going out (though their night life options are sort of limited to the one vampire-owned bar they can get into)...


...and, of course, using their familiars (a.k.a. slaves) to find new victims on which to dine. But when Petyr (the oldest of the bunch, at 8,000 years) accidentally turns an intended victim into a vampire, the crew is forced to show their new companion Nick the ropes.

I won’t go any further into the story, because I’d probably just ruin all the best jokes (though there are many, many “best” jokes, so maybe there’s not too much danger there). Suffice to say, the deadpan humor that worked so beautifully in Spinal Tap – which I mention twice now because I think it’s the pinnacle of mockumentaries – works just as brilliantly here.

The characters are unbelievably likable – from Viago, our awkward host who’s still pining over the one that got away; to Deacon, the youngest (only 183!) and the “bad boy”; to Vladislav, who likes his sandwiches best unfucked; to Petyr, who should never, ever be woken from a nap. Beyond the characters, who are innately hilarious, the humor is all in their day-to-day routines, from the moment Viago wakes up at night (their version of morning) and is nervous about opening the blinds (“This part is always a liiittle scary…”). From shopping for new clothes (off victims) to seducing potential human meals (with promises of “pasghetti”), there is rarely a moment without a laugh.

This is a pretty short review, but that’s because there’s really nothing left to say, other than: Go see it! Now! Just trust me. It’s the best horror comedy I’ve seen in ages.

Note: You can contribute to the Kickstarter fund to get What We Do in the Shadows a wide U.S. release here.

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