What We Do in the Shadows
After a couple of years of wanting to watch this movie, and after the triumph of Thor: Ragnarok, I’d finally decided to sit down and watch one of Taika Waititi’s earlier movies. Luckily, the movie is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video. And yes, it is resoundingly delightful, and a little horrifying, (it is a story about modern-day vampires, after all) but Waititi’s winning portrayal of Viago carried the movie for me. It was just so hard not to root for him as he stumbled through his days, as he tried to seduce victims and as he tried (rather hilariously) to feed. The rest of the vampire brood was just as charming, however, and I loved Jemaine Clement. I just love him in whatever he’s doing, really, and Deacon was hilarious, particularly with his initial distrust and rivalry with the newly-turned vampire, Nick.
Aw, Nick. He really didn’t know what he was in for.
I do love that the disparate group basically encompassed every single type of vampire known in folklore, from the barely human, Nosferatu-like Petyr, to Nick’s walking, talking Twilight referencing modern vampire. It’s fascinating to see how they stalk around a modern-day city, dealing with everyday life, other members of the supernatural elite, and all that fun stuff. It’s definitely interesting to see that Taika so deftly handled the balance between the magical and the mundane, which served him very well in Ragnarok. The characters are relatable and are understandable, and even if they’re vampires or Norse gods, there’s still an underlying humanity that’s appealing.
I don’t really wish to spoil the movie too much, because it must be experienced fully and as a comedy, the best bits should come as a complete surprise, but Rhys Darby has a great supporting role as the alpha male of a pack of werewolves. And if you’ve ever wanted to see a workplace comedy starring a group of vampires, then this is definitely the movie for you.