For Reel

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
March 28, 2015, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Director(s): Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement
4 Stars
What We Do in the ShadowsA mockumentary about vampires might not seem like it could sustain its laughs for a feature-length running time, however Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement ably keep What We Do in the Shadows amusing with a nonchalant pacing, which almost plays like a joke in itself. The four distinct flatmates are each well-drawn from various incarnations of vampire lore, with personalities ranging from a brooding lecher with a predilection towards torture (Clement) to an 18th-century dandy (Waititi). As with Flight of the Conchords, the jokes are delivered in a deadpan, matter-of-fact manner that doesn’t so much equate to gut-busting laughs, but rather consistent chuckles–the very plainness of a human I.T. guy that is invited into the vampire world (Stu Rutherford) is as funny to the filmmakers as some of the more effects-heavy visual gags. Beyond the humor, there’s a certain sweetness in the relationship between the vampires (mostly due to Waititi’s sympathetic performance) and some surface-level but nonetheless welcome reflections on the passing of generations.