Okay, okay, this released way back in 2014 but I just happened upon it the other night, and by the Lord of Darkness, I’m so glad I did.

What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary about a group of vampires living as flatmates in New Zealand and their struggle to blend into normal society in order to, you know, do vampirey things like drink blood and go to clubs and parties without killing one another in the process.

There’s Vlad the Poker, a once-great mind controller and master of mass hypnosis who has since lost his touch. Deacon, the bad boy vampire. Viago, the hopeless romantic. And finally Petyr, an 8,000 year old Nosferatu type vampire of few words. These guys argue over who does the dishes and who gets the most blood on the floor.  There’s also a pack of werewolves (not swearwolves), a familiar who wants to be turned into the undead, witches, The Beast and all kinds of other Halloween fodder — all culminating at the annual Unholy Masquerade where all of these undead drink and dance the night away.

The Good:

  • Infinitely quotable and re-watchable. There’s subtleties you won’t pick up the first time.
  • A good mix of humor types and some seriously laugh-out-loud bits.
  • Surprisingly good special effects.
  • Virgin’s Blood/Sandwich
  • There’s a sequel about the werewolf pack on the way, titled We’re Wolves.

The Bad:

  • I was expecting something a bit more macabre and grandiose out of the Unholy Masquerade but perhaps after throwing a party for thousands of years you just stop putting forth so much effort into the ambience.
  • Comedy is uneven in (small) parts.

What We Do in the Shadows is classic stuff and immediately reminded me of a horror-themed Spinal Tap. You can watch it multiple times due to its great combination of subtle and slapstick humor, and it’s a lot of fun to quote. If you like comedies and/or horror, you should check this one out as soon as you can. I’m very excited for the werewolf sequel!

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