Take a Drink: for each vampire cliche
Take a Drink: for wirework
Take a Drink: for photoshop
Take a Drink: for seduction
Take a Drink: for Petyr. He’s just the best.
Do a Shot: for werewolves
Do a Shot: He never gets the faces right…
By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –
Vampires Suck is a sentiment that could be just about the totality of vampire comedies in popular culture, and not just the sad, sad existences of Aaron Friedberg and Jason Seltzer. It’s rare for vampire comedies to be any good, ,because they so often grasp for the low-hanging fruit of well trod tropes and angles, or going after Twilight in utter ignorance of the fact that no movie could hope to satirize Twilight as well as Twilight satirized Twilight.
This literally cannot be topped.
What We Do in the Shadows actually takes aim at two beaten to death genres, vampire comedies and mock docs, as some unspecified TV station follows around a group of vampire roommates to see how the undead live in 2014 Wellington, New Zealand. Sounds like it doesn’t have a chance, right?
Nope. It sounds strange calling this the best comedy I’ve seen in a year, but damn if I didn’t laugh the most during it. The trick is to embrace the silliness, and treat it like the most normal thing in the world. It’s a documentary, after all, right?
Just another Tuesday.
The humor plays like an unholy mix of Summer Heights High and Flight of the Conchords, and lives up entirely to those comparisons. The film smartly establishes its characters first, then plays off of them and their dynamic for humor, and it helps that the entire cast is comprised of damn funny folks The most recognizable face is Jermaine Clement, who plays the powerful sex god vampire Vladislav the Poker, but Taika Waititti’s (who co-wrote and directed with Clement) foppish dandy and clean freak Vigo, who is probably the impetus behind the documentary, is probably the MVP…. okay, Ben Frandsham’s silent, nightmarish, but oh-so-cute Nosferatu clone Petyr is my fave.
He’s just so… cuddly!
There’s also a funny rivalry between Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), the cool new guy of the group with all the fashion tips that the 1800s had to offer, and the newly minted Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), who usurps his role with his internet knowledge and club bouncer buddies. And don’t forget about the human Stu (Stu Rutherford), who everybody loves, maybe because he’s just so damn red-faced, or the werewolves, led by Flight of the Conchords’ Rhys Darby, because hell yes. Added to this winning mix are some surprisingly decent special effects for such a low budget, and, in the end, just the right touch of cold, dead heart.
He’s like the one hot girl at the LAN party… very popular.
Not every joke hits, but they fly so quickly that the rare dud fades from memory quickly. That being said, the film struggles to maintain its madcap momentum here and again when some of its broader jokes are strung together, but it always finds its footing quickly.
What We Do in the Shadows does the seemingly impossible- make the exhausted vampire and mock doc genres feel fresh and goddamn hilarious. Maybe these guys need to team up with Phil Lord and Chris Miller to make a Two and a Half Men movie or something, just for the challenge.