Movie Review : What We Do in the Shadows


In modern day Wellington New Zealand, four vampires are sharing a house. Viago (Waititi) is a fussy 17th century Lestat type ‘dandy’ who is all frilly shirts and pining after his one true love. Deacon (Brugh) is an arrogant 19th century Russian vampire who likens his sexy look to the vampires in the 80’s cult classic The Lost Boys. Vladislav (Clement) is the ultimate Gary Oldman bad boy vamp and is a bit of a pervert. Then there is Petyr (Fransham). Petyr is an 8000 year old vampire from which the 1922 original vampire film Nosferatu clearly took its infuence.

The vampires have granted a documentary film crew unprecedented access to their lives as they prepare for the annual Unholy Masquerade Ball, when all of Wellington’s undead meet and party the night away.

The film opens with a 6pm alarm to wake Viago, who immediately rises to face the scariest moment in his day (night)….. checking through the curtains to ensure darkness has descended. We all hold our breath with Viago.

Daylight saving must be a bitch for these boys…..

What follows is 90 minutes of the most hilarious, camp fun since Spinal Tap. I know that comparison has been thrown around a lot over the last week but in this case, it is well deserved. Not since David St Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel tried to sing in key for their documentary crew, has the mundane been so bloody funny.

These vampires chide Deacon for having not done the dishes in 5 years…..complete with home made chore chart tacked thoughtfully to the kitchen wall. Viago frets that nobody puts down towels or newspapers on the floor when they kill a victim. Vladislav glamours some hapless cops who stumble into their lair because some neighbours heard screams.


When 2 month old vampire Nick (Gonzalez-Macuer) joins their household and introduces them to his best mate, the human Stu (Rutherford), the house dynamic shifts as the older vampires are introduced to the 21st century and many of its delights.

I loved every second of this movie. The awkward-glance-at-the-camera moments, especially with the delightfully uptight Viago, and the choppy dialogue made it even more endearing. There was a definite low budget documentary feel which only added to the overall appeal. There were even a few plot twists, just to keep it interesting.

I was warned one viewing wouldnt be enough and he was right. If you loved Spinal Tap, if you like quirky, slightly left of centre humour, if you know your vampires, both of legend and pop culture…. this is the movie for you.

It may not go up to 11 but it definitely goes to at least 10.35 😉

Love Flick xx

Directors :  Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi

Starring :   Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, Ben Fransham, Jackie van Beek, Elena Stejko, Jason Hoyte, Karen O’Leary, Mike Minogue, Chelsie Preston Crayford, 

Running Time :  86 minutes

Release Date :  4 September 2014

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