Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years you would have noticed the vampire movie scene has been dominated by the slightly nauseating teen-angst world of Twilight. So how refreshing that a funny, local movie provides us with a vampire breath of fresh air, plus a lot of laugher and great one liners.
Giants on the local talent stage Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi have written and directed a fantastic mockumentary, What We Do in the Shadows. In it a camera crew documents the lives of a group of vampires living as flatmates in Wellington. Like any creatures co-inhabiting there are flat-meetings to discuss household chores, grumblings about who is leaving blood on the furniture and supportive advice on what to wear for a night on the town. In typical reality show style our vampire friends show us both the positives and negatives of living in the capital city – that also happens to be inhabited by zombies, witches and smelly, hairy werewolves (who are certainly not swear-wolves).
The mockumentary also includes the famed annual masquerade ball, where the vampires encounter The Beast, and their one human friend Stu has an unfortunate rendevous with furry creatures that howl at the moon.
Filmed around Wellington, there are plenty of familiar sites and familiar faces as well-known Kiwi actors put on an appearance. This includes Rhys Darby as the alpha-male of the werewolf gang. Special mention has to go to Ethel Robinson, the love interest of Taika’s character “Viago”. Her first acting gig at the young age of 98, and she is just gorgeous! There is a wonderful blend of New Zealand humour mixed with jokes that an overseas audience would appreciate, and the stunts – whilst not high-budget affairs – are amusing and add to the comedy of the film.
The DVD is packed with extras including deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of What We Do in the Shadows. Go out and buy a copy, embrace one of the best movies New Zealand has produced in quite some time, and if you go out in Wellington keep an eye out for anyone who looks fascinated by your neck!