Friday, December 19, 2014

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Directors: Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Writers:    Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Cast:        Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh

Follow the lives of Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Vladislav (Jermaine Clement)- three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life's obstacles-like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood in Wellington, New Zealand. 

It can be called a horror comedy mockumentary film with minimal involvement from the ones wielding camera. At the start of the film, the centuries old vampires are little out of touch with the 21st century. Since they cannot see themselves in the mirror they have to rely on drawings while dressing up. When they inadvertently converts one of their victims into a vampire, the recent vampire with the help of his computer expert human friend introduces them into the cutting edge technologies like camera, phones, Skype and internet (to do their dark bidding on eBay) . The initial good feeling is replaced by disillusionment as the  amateurishness of the recent vampire leads them into some trouble. The plot is  wafer thin but the humor works well for it to make it a great watch. It also helps that over the course of the film they explain various aspects in which vampires differ from us humans and this would serve us very well when we watch other vampire films. I am not a huge fan of the genre but we are at a stage where the big shitty Twilight franchise is over and we are getting some very good vampire films from very good directors. 'Only Lovers Left Alive' from Jim Jarmusch is among my favorites of this year and 'Let the right one in' is another good one from yesteryear's. All three represent three takes on the genre and all of them are great.

Jermaine Clement of the director duo was involved with the TV series 'Flight of the Conchords' which I have not seen. I think this is the first film I have seen set in New Zealand (LoTR does not count). Andrew Dominik is from New Zealand and is a favorite director of mine but i don't think any of the films that I have seen from him is set there (Chopper is the only real candidate but that was set in Australia). 

Rating: 4/5