An effortless blend of humor and macabre with black comedy undertones, clever real-life Office-y gags juxtaposing its supernatural subject, and great castings, this cult classic establishes Taika Waititi as a new actor/director to watch. 8.7/10.
Plot Synopsis: Vampire housemates (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh) try to cope with the complexities of modern life and show a newly turned hipster (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) some of the perks of being undead.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
The Office x Vampires: The Lost Art Of Black Comedy
Black comedy. A lost art in modern filmmaking but one Clement and newcomer-to-watch Taika Waititi have captured in a bottle with their indie project What We Do In The Shadows (now becoming a cult classic in vampiric circles). An effortless blend of humor and macabre with black comedy undertones, clever real-life Office-y gags juxtaposing its supernatural subject, and great castings, this cult classic establishes Waititi as an actor/director to watch.
The Film Is Absolutely Hilarious In Gags Deftly Blending Supernatural Macabre With The Humour Of Everyday Life
The film is absolutely hilarious, blending humor with its macabre juxtaposing light with darkness in subject, as well as an Office-like interview and narration documentary structure breaking the fourth-wall but reinvented in a new light. From things like going to the dentist to seeing Twilight to cleaning dishes and dealing with pesky roommates, the idea of seeing previously mystified creatures doing these mundane real-life tasks is clever in concept. The production value is surprisingly great for its indie nature not coming from a major studio and clearly newcomer-shot but still managing to display inventive camerawork and surprisingly good VFX and wire-work having vampires fly around the room or turn into bats while still making it look believable.
Sensational Vampiric Castings (& Stu)
The casting is perfect in its mix of characters that play off each other and, again, work in Office-like fashion as a character ensemble elevating to classic-level by the end. Finally, the comedic writing, plotting, and characterization are great as well especially culminating in awesome events like the Unholy Masquerade and Stu (the film’s MVP and funniest part being a cool normal I.T. guy hanging with vampires like nothing’s wrong) and end character development learning to get along with other creatures of the night/legend like werewolves, witches, and zombies.
Flaws include that the structure/motif is obviously taken from The Office (not exactly groundbreakingly original), Nick can get a bit irritating, the humor can get silly at times like the bellydancing schtick, and I wish there had been a better resolution to the Nick/Stu plotline at the masquerade since it seemed a bit last minute-forced.
A Brilliant Reinvention of Horror-Comedy: One Of The Funniest Films Of The 2000’s
Overall though, What We Do In The Shadows is a brilliant reinvention of the vampiric genre, and skillful blending of horror and black comedy that deserves its newfound status as a cult classic and could spell great things for upcoming actor/director Taika Waititi.
Official CLC Score: 8.7/10