Movie: What We Do in the Shadows
My Rating: 5 stars
This is a delightfully funny movie. But then again, I already have a weakness for these guys—Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (and a little bit of Rhys Darby). I find them so charming and funny. So, I’m pretty much willing to watch anything they do—even if it’s just them messing around. And, that’s essentially what they’re doing in this movie. This is a mockumentary following around a group of vampires in their everyday life in this modern world. They give us tours of their house, have typical roommate squabbles, show us their favorite outfits—all while looking back expectantly at the cameraman for approval. It’s great. I especially like Waititi’s little grin at the camera when he’s showing us something he thinks we should be impressed by. They capture the style of the low-budget, absurd documentary very accurately.
There’s already plenty of ironic humor to be found in this kind of mundane documentary. The subjects are usually so clueless, and they never quite understand why they’re so fascinating. (“Maybe this director really likes porcelain, clown figurines, and since I’m Iowa’s biggest collector of them…it’s only natural that he’d contact me”). But, of course this movie provides even more laughs because these vampires are really ancient guys. They’re completely baffled by modern technology, and they still retain some of the old-fashioned ideas (and clothing) from the eras in which they were originally turned into vampires. We have these mythical ideas that vampires must be very dangerous and sophisticated. But, what if they’re just as stupid and blundering as regular people? I mean, they all started off as human. Why couldn’t a dullard have been turned? And this “coven” is remarkably dim. They’re so adorable.
I loved the movie, and I think you might too. But then, maybe this is just my love for these actors spilling over. I already really like Waititi and Clement’s brand of comedy, and I understand that there are plenty of people who just don’t. It’s pretty subtle and absurd. I guess a good litmus test would be whether you liked Eagle vs. Shark or not. But, I think it’d be fun if you could support this film while it’s still in theaters. These guys were promoting the film themselves, so they actually had a Kickstarter to raise enough funds to bring it to the US. So, help make it a success. I really want to encourage these guys to make more funny movies like this.