What We Do In the Shadows — 7/10

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (2015, Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi)

Doesn’t have much to say beyond its premise (Spinal Tap for vampires), nor does it add anything visually or structurally to the mockumentary genre, but it’s pretty damn funny. The little details and throwaway gags are the best things about it (e.g. when the vamps first run across a pack of werewolves and tease them by throwing sticks and the Alpha has to tell one werewolf not to chase it; or when they play Pac-Man in the mirror). Clement & Waititi understand character very well, and generate most of the gags from what established characters would do in a given situation — and that situation is so amped up because of pop culture’s well-worn trail of vampire and supernatural mythology that it’s a recipe for instant comedy.

I could see this as a TV series that would work even better than a feature film — even at 90 minutes this feels a bit slowly paced at times, but several 22-minute episodes tightly edited would be fantastic.


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