Shining a light on Wellington's vampires

22:20, Jul 03 2014
Taika Waititi
COMEDY ACT: Taika Waititi's Vampire Comedy 'What We Do In The Shadows'. From left, Jemaine Clement (Viadislav), Ben Fransham (Petyr) Jonathan Brugh (Deacon) and Taika Waititi (Viago)

MOVIE REVIEW: What We Do In The Shadows. Starring Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Jonathon Brugh; directed by Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi

Vampires live among us, and have done for centuries, of course.

Four of these vampires - living in a flatshare in Wellington - have decided to let a documentary crew follow them around to document their lives. As you do.

Viago (Taika Waititi), Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) and Deacon (Jonathon Brugh) are, on the surface fairly typical vampire flatmates. They bicker over the chore wheel, and over whose turn it is to do the dishes. The usual flatmate issues. With, of course, the addition of them all being undead.

What We Do in the Shadows plays out on screen as a mockumentary, with the unseen crew following Viago, Deacon, Vladislav and Nick (vampire, two months) around Wellington.

There's no real storyline to hang the action on here, which makes sense given the nature of the film. It's also very, very, very funny.


Directors Waititi and Clement have an excellent grasp on the rather unique Kiwi sense of humour and that plays out over the course of the 90 minutes as the flatmates bumble through Wellington's nightlife, accidentally creating new vampires, and finding willing victims.

Once Nick - a child of the internet age - is turned into a vampire and brings along his very human friend Stu (a truly funny deadpan turn by Stuart Rutherford), the three flatmates are forced to engage with the 21st century with unexpected - and funny - results.

The peach slices on the pavlova are without a doubt a cameo by Rhys Darby as the alpha of the local werewolf clan ("we're werewolves, not swear wolves!").

What We Do in the Shadows is classic Kiwi fare - deadpan humour and everyday situations filtered through the extraordinary.

Great, great fun.

The Southland Times