Friday, February 27, 2015

What We Do In The Shadows Works!!

If you haven't had a chance to catch the new mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows, you've been missing out.
The film by Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame) and Taika Waititi recalls memories of old Christopher Guest comedies... the kind you used to stay up with friends till ungodly hours watching and laughing your asses off at. This is not Spinal Tap, but it's humor exists in the same ballpark.
What We Do In The Shadows is shot from the perspective of a camera crew that has been invited (with immunity) into a den of vampires "living" in New Zealand as the vamps prepare for an annual meeting of demons and spirits... a veritable monster mash. But these vampires are much more... shall I say... down to earth than the kind we're used to seeing in films. These guys are just a bunch of dudes. They make mistakes and want to party, though they can't get into the human bars without a direct invitation. And even the oldest and wisest of the bunch still has certain issues using their powers. These guys are not the sexgods that Hollywood has accustomed us to. They are a far cry to be sure.
Jemaine Clement has made a real name for himself outside of his two-piece band. Scoring roles in films like MIB3 and Muppets Most Wanted. And he always brings the whammy. He's funny and his timing is always on point. I'm a bit newer to Taika Waititi, though he is the real lead of this flick. And he impressed me. His awkward but direct approach to vampire living was almost always funny and there was a very compelling element of cleverness to every misstep and quirk he showed us.
Sure the rockumentary fourth wall kind of broke a few time. And while the film could have done with at least one more strong female presence, the lack there of didn't hinder the concept. As I said above, this is a film about dudes... dudes out of place in this modern world. And the circumstances just allow for dude comedy to take a more specific and silly kind of turn. What We Do In The Shadows was a very welcome surprise in this very young 2015 film season. And hopefully it is a sign of other good things to come.

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