January 26, 2015

Blu-ray Review: What We Do in the Shadows (2015)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3416742/
(aka This is Jugular Tap)
Release Date: February 13th (Limited)
Country: New Zealand.
Rating: NR.
Written & Directed by: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi.
Starring: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, and Ben Fransham.

Vladislav, Viago, Deacon and Petyr are four vampires living in Wellington, NZ, who are just trying to get through life the best way they know how. The vampire flatmates are a bit behind the times, still dressing like they did when they became vampires hundreds of years ago, and having no clue how to use modern technology at all, but they sure like to party. Especially Petyr.

IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA TO WAKE PETYR UP FROM HIS NAP.
When Petyr accidentally turns Nick (a would-be meal) into a vampire, the guys are forced to let the him join their group. Nick has a rough time adapting to life as a vampire, which eventually leads to him bringing tragedy to their doorstep, and so he is banished from the fold after a brutal and horrific shaming ritual. Shame!

WHAT IS HE DOING UP THERE?
We don't really want to say too much more about the plot here, not because it would necessarily spoil things, but because this movie is a Mockumentary, and the plot isn't really all that important. We will say though, that this movie is so frigging silly, that it's brilliant.

HE IS A MESSY EATER.
When we first watched this movie, our reaction was basically "Yeah, that was pretty funny." We liked it, but we didn't really think it was all that great. It stuck with us though, and its scenes and lines kept popping up in our heads, and we'd find ourselves laughing at random times just thinking about them. When we sat down to watch it for a second time was when we truly "got it," and it slayed us. This is a really, really funny flick.

THEY LOOK LIKE THEY'RE HAVING FUN.
If you've ever seen Flight of the Conchords, or just about anything else that Kiwi comedians Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi have been involved with over the years, then you know exactly what to expect here. WWDITS is deadpan comedy, Mockumentary style, which plays a lot like fellow Mockumentaries Best in Show or Fear of A Black Hat, and it also feels reminiscent of The Office in it's reality mechanics. Some of the jokes and bits may not work as well as others, but nothing feels forced in this movie. We like its natural vibe.

It's really the actors that make this movie so great. They all have such a good sense of comic timing, and their delivery is both so deadpan and perfect, that they elevate an already clever script to a higher level. Then again, most of the film was improvised (with the actors not really seeing a script), so I guess that the script had very little do with the outcome, and it is indeed the actors that make this movie what it is.

THAT SCARF HELPED TOO.
The funniest moments in the movie come from the littlest things: the vampires not being able to acclimate themselves to the modern world; a newly-turned vampire trying to get through a window; a vampire's reaction to being woken up from a deep sleep; "Do you like pasghetti?"; the vamps not being able to get into a club because the bouncers won't invite them in; Swearwolves; "No you're not, you fucking piece of shit"; the Procession of Shame, the virgin sandwich analogy... Like any good Mockumentary, the good stuff is this movie is found in the minutiae, and the minutiae in this movie is wickedly funny.
 
What We Do in the Shadows is the This is Spinal Tap for the new millennium; it's every bit as brilliant in its execution, and it's just about as funny in most places. As Mockumentaries go, it doesn't get much better than this.

HE FIRES HIS ARROWS THE RIGHT WAY; ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BOW!
Vampires are people too. Kind of. Also, werewolves have impeccable manners.

WEREWOLVES, NOT SWEARWOLVES.
Weeks after seeing it, we still laugh whenever we think about What We Do in the Shadows. This is a very funny, enjoyable movie, and though its comic stylings may not be for everybody, we're pretty sure that most people that give it a chance will enjoy it as much as we did. Do yourselves a favor and see this one when you get the chance to.

A

What We Do in the Shadows will be available on VOD and in Limited Release as of February 13th. *It's already available on Blu-ray/DVD in Australia/NZ, if you have a Region-Free player.

Since there weren't a lot of Hotties in this movie, here are some more pics from the movie instead. You might even find some of them sexy. Who knows.

5 comments :

  1. Just curious, are you US based? Or foreign, just because the movie hasn't been released in the US yet, curious how you watched the film already. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're U.S. based, and several of us have Region Free Blu-ray players, which lets us watch any disc from anywhere in the world, as long as we're willing to pay for shipping, which usualyl isn't as bad as you'd think it would be.

      It's out here in the U.S. next Friday, btw.

      Delete
  2. I loved (L-O-V-E-D-!) this in the theater. Looking forward to watching it again. And again. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was surprisingly good, and you'd be hard pressed to find a more picky or cynical moviegoer than me. I saw it at the theater. I hope these guys are richly rewarded for this film - for two reasons - they deserve it, and it will encourage more creative independent work. This is a great antidote to the mass market, brainless trash that Hollywood has been heaving on us for years. This movie hits on all cylinders - script, direction, editing, audio, and acting. There was a just touch of computer graphics, but they controlled themselves, and let their actors and script do most of the work. And it all clicked.

    I knew I was in for a treat from the very first moments of the opening scene, which I won't spoil here. Lots and lots of cleverness. There are plenty of reasons to like this movie, but how can you not love a movie that demonstrates such pitfalls as a vampire bat running into a power line? Great stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed 100%, Anon. Really good stuff.

      Delete