Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What we do in the Shadows [2014]

MPAA (UR would be PG-13)  ChicagoTribune (3 1/2 Stars) (3 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (B)  Fr. Dennis (4 Stars)

IMDb listing
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review (S. Abrams) review
AVClub (M. D'Angelo) review

What we do in the Shadows [2014] (cowritten and codirected by Jamaine Clement and Taika Waititi) is a rare, impeccably timed, dead-pan "Reality Show"-styled comedy about ... a house of Vampires ;-).

It may scare some domestic readers that the film comes from "all the way" from New Zealand,  and yes, perhaps "one has to be young, or at least young at heart" to like this movie, but IMHO it tells one funny story ;-).

The film's about four "confirmed bachelor" vampires of ages ranging from about 150 to 8000 (!) ;-) living in (what Americans would call) a late 19th century Victorian house in contemporary Wellington, New Zealand.

There's Vladislav (played by Jemaine Clement), the most responsible, tidy, community oriented of the vampires.  He "lays down newspaper" before bites his victims in the neck ;-).

There's Deacon (played by Jonathan Brugh) the "youngest" and perhaps the most "immature" of the four vampires, a mere 150 or so years old, who, in contrast, "hasn't been pulling his weight" in the house.  He's let the blood-soaked dishes stack-up in the sink FOR FIVE YEARS ;-) even though he's been repeatedly reminded (passive-aggressively ... by notes ... ;-) to do them because, after all, that's supposed to be his household job ;-).  Instead, he just prefers to go out "partying" at night and still hasn't been particularly "discrete" about him being a vampire and all (causing "some concern" for the rest of the community who'd prefer to lead a "no unnecessary troubles" sort of existence).

Then there's Viago (played by Taika Wiatiti) probably the most sophisticated, "realized" vampire of the bunch, perhaps because he's been living as a vampire since the Middle Ages ;-).  He's something of a playboy, but one gets the sense after a time that he's just kinda bitter about something, some great romance that went awry sometime during the High Renaissance ;-).

Finally, there's Petyr (played by Ben Fransham) , the 8,000 year old vampire, who lives in a GIANT stone sarcophagus in the basement of the house.  He doesn't talk much, yes "he does look his age" ;-), and yet he's someone that the young(er vampires) look up to.  He's the one who converted Deacon into a vampire 150 years ago, and during the course of this film, he converts another young man, Nick (played by Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) who the other three (vampires) just wanted feast on (suck the blood out of), presumably because he, Petyr, "saw potential" in Nick as vampire (or perhaps Petyr was just "a dirty old man" / perv... ;-).  But his was a "validation" that Nick, of course, was "ETERNALLY grateful" for :-) ... After all look at the alternative ... the other three (vampires) just saw him as a meal ;-).

Anyway, having presented the story's primary characters here, let's just say that much (quite Seinfeld / "Reality Show"-like) "ordinary" (in the life of a household of Vampires...) ensues ... ;-)

Honestly, if you have the right sense of humor, it's hilarious ;-).

Great job folks!  Great job!

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