I honestly didn’t know what I was expecting from What We Do in the Shadows, a horror/comedy from newcomer Jemaine Clement. I’d never heard of the actors, the director, the writers, etc. It was something I found at Redbox and said, “Ah what the hell.” Thank goodness I did, or I would have missed one of the most underrated films of 2015.
The movie serves as a sort of mockumentary on the lives of 3 vampire flat-mates, who have to deal with the toils of living in a modern day society. It’s a pretty interesting premise, and one that could go so very wrong. But thankfully Clement’s quirky writing and directing really gives the movie its own soul and sets it apart from others.
The movie boasts a cast of unknown actors and a low budget. But it does it with pride. Because in all honesty, it doesn’t need much more. It doesn’t need big name actors to carry it, and it doesn’t need huge, flashy set pieces to keep people interested. It takes a monster we are all familiar with, and puts it in a modern day environment. I honestly can’t think of another movie that’s done something similar, so it is an idea that’s refreshing to me, and provided a great first time viewing experience.
One of my favorite parts about the movie were all the little Easter Eggs about the vampires. Pretty much every legend about vampires is covered in the movie. Aversion to sunlight, garlic, a cross, etc. There’s scenes of them flying around (some of the funniest scenes in the movie honestly). Or when they have to sketch each other before going club hopping because vampires don’t have a reflection. It was fun seeing all these and more being explored with the backdrop of a modern day society.
I could go on and on about this movie honestly. I really loved it. It’s not a masterpiece or even in my Top 10. But it’s amusing and refreshing. It also proves why indie films are really pushing the envelope in the industry. There’s no way one of those Hollywood hotshots would have greenlit this, and if they did, it almost certainly would have lost all of its charm.
Seriously, check this out.