Rocky Horror Show

What We Do In The Shadows

20 November 14 words: Harry Wilding
This mockumentary about a few vampires sharing a New Zealand house really needs to be seen by everyone
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A mockumentary about vampires living in New Zealand, written, directed and starring Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi? Yes please! If those names do not ring a bell, then the former is Jemaine in Flight of the Conchords and the latter, also involved with a few Flight of the Conchords, made the great Eagle Vs Shark.

Set in Wellington, the mockumentary crew follow the vampires at their home and on nights out in the lead up to the annual Unholy Masquerade party. These undead flatmates are 183-year-old Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), 379-year-old Viago (Taika Waititi), 862-year-old Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), and the 8,000-year-old Petyr (Ben Fransham).

The film is phenomenally hilarious. It really is, start to finish, just very very funny. They throw everything in there in terms of vampire folklore, except maybe anything about garlic, and poke fun at it. There are even werewolves, with the excellently cast Rhys Darby as the alpha male. Geek fact: They and the vampires actually have a run-in with each other on the same hill where the scenes were filmed in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the King in which Frodo and the hobbits are running and hiding from the Ring-Wraith under the roots of a tree.

As well as been funny - did I mention that? - the film is actually really well designed, too. Their costumes, the vampire house, and particularly Petyr’s Nosferatu-like make-up are really well realised. The fight scenes, one of which is honestly like something out of Inception, are also nicely choreographed and executed.

What We Do In The Shadows certainly meets the hype and potential – I am even laughing about lines and scenes from it as I write this. The line about virgins and sandwiches nearly floored me. 

What We Do In The Shadows is on general release from Friday 21 November 2014.

What We Do... website