Mockumentaries are a style of film that I tend to enjoy. There aren’t really enough of them, but when I heard about What We Do in the Shadows I knew I had to see it. I DVR’d it from HBO a while back and finally decided to watch it. It’s not perfect, but was pretty intelligently made and often funny. I’d say What We Do in the Shadows is a Decent Watch that won’t appeal to everyone, but if Jemaine Clement makes you laugh you’ll probably enjoy.
What We do in the Shadows has some good moments.
Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonny Brugh), and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) are vampires who have agreed to allow a documentary be made about their lives as flatmates in New Zealand. The documentary filmmakers follow the trio as they find food, argue over chores, make new friends, and prepare for the annual Unholy Masquerade.
Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement co-wrote and co-directed this film as well as starred in it. From the opening sequence you get the MTV Real World vibe for the story that will play out in the mockumentary style film. The events that transpire in the film are predominantly mundane and seem ultimately unimportant. Only, it’s vampires going through this normal problems and the juxtaposition of the two really make for some funny moments.
The play on the traditional rules of being a vampire set in this real world type scenario is quite entertaining. The characters struggle with normal problems that comes from having roommates and finding their place in the world. The trio varies in age by some time, but all are over hundreds of years old. They don’t fit in with modern society and it impacts their happiness. The film manages to poke fun at other vampire movies like Twilight, Blade, The Lost Boys, and even Nosferatu.
The brilliance is there and the comedy comes at moments, but something just felt like it was missing. Maybe the documentary style is missing that cohesive story that could have made this a better film. It’s fairly enjoyable even with its misfires. This may have worked better as a series much like the Real World so that there could have been more sub plots.