Co-written by Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this is one of the better comedies I’ve seen; or at least the best mockumentary I’ve seen. What is the biggest achievement for this film, though, is probably that it isn’t far off Tongan Ninja when it comes to how funny it is.
It’s all bloody ridiculous (in a very literal sense, and yes, I did use this joke in my tweet last night). The fact that they’re vampires with a lust for blood in New Zealand symbolises exactly what is ridiculous about the film, as it’s a very nonchalant atmosphere in a little overshadowed country (what overshadows it? Tonga), and they’re there as blood sucking vampires trying not to get their sofas messy when they feed on their prey and having flat meetings and such.
It’s like if Flight of the Conchords was set in a vampire mansion in Wellington — and who doesn’t want that? I know I want much more of it, because it is bloody funny. From the ghost cup to the beast and to the reason behind drinking virgin blood, it’s full of gags, while its nonchalant (yes, I’m using that word again) humour comes to life when blood explodes everywhere and ol’ Viago’s (Taika Waititi) getting all distressed about it. I mean, I don’t know why I even tried to review this film. It’s just really, really stupid; but it’s really, really great at the same time. See, that’s all I needed to say.
Well, I guess I’ll say more. The writing and the concepts aren’t the only things good about the film. Everything else is also bloody brilliant. The casting, for one, is perfect. Jermaine Clement is about as funny as he usually is, and he along with Jonathan Burgh and Cori Gonzales-Macuer symbolise that unbothered approach the film takes – but horrifically sadistic at the same time — blood and guts are always a nice addition, of course. The documentary style also works well for it, as if it was any other way I don’t think it would work.
In conclusion, What We Do In the Shadows is an odd film, but a very funny, very well written and probably very memorable film, and one of the best comedies I’ve seen. Although it might not be quite as quotable as the glorious Tongan Ninja, and the feeling when someone is being preyed on by vampires and you’re in hysterics does get a little weird, if there’s anything New Zealand should be proud of, it is this.
Other stuff and that like this: This Is Spinal Tap, Flight of the Conchords, Tongan Ninja
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