Frank’s Takes: What We Do in the Shadows

what we do in the shadows movie poster 2.jpg


If you combined Vampires with MTV’s Real World and The Office, you would have this movie.

Once again, UW-Parkside is continuing its 35th annual Foreign Film Series, showcasing a wide variety of independent, award winning movies in The Rita throughout the fall and spring semesters.

It’s only fitting that the month of October will be featuring a wide spread of horror based films, ranging from psychological thrillers to straight, bloody gore fests. However, one genre of film that you might not expect from a typical scary movie is the aspect of comedy.

I am not talking about spoof, parody humor like a Scary Movie 5. I am talking about smart, satirical humor. Bringing that kind of humor with the brand of horror gives you the not-so-typical, horror-comedy all the way from New Zealand known as What We Do In The Shadows

Monster mash

What We Do In The Shadows is directed and written by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi and is a mockumentary, horror-comedy about three vampires that live together in a mansion located in the suburbs of Wellington.

Surprisingly enough, Clement and Waititi also star in this film as two of three main vampires that are preparing for an upcoming annual party called the “Unholy Masquerade”, where all creatures that go bump in the night are invited to attend.

Right off the bat, it has a very straightforward premise, but it is how it is executed in this film that makes this something to be applauded. This movie is top notch, and in my opinion, it just might be the best vampire movie I have seen to date.

The three lead vampires of this film, Clement, Waititi, and Jonathan Brugh, played off each other incredibly well together in this film, and they have a great comedic chemistry amongst them. Their back and forth banter is so fun to watch. The audience can clearly tell these actors are having a blast working with their script.

What I found the most interesting about these characters was that they each were portraying a certain, stereotypical vampire that we have seen in past vampire movies. Their acting combined with the great writing made it feel like these characters were owning up to their stereotypes and playing up to their past horror tropes, and it was very fun to see how they paid homage to that.

Also touching base on the documentary aspect of this film, it is entirely shot from the perspective of the cameramen that the vampires “allowed” to film them while wearing crucifixes around their necks, which I thought was a great idea to present and welcomed change in film industry.

The idea brought me multiple belly aching moments of laughter throughout the film. What these cameramen caught on film ranged from over-the-top shenanigans among these vampires to sheer, gory violence brought to us in apart by these vampires.

Overall grade

All in all, What We Do In The Shadows knew what kind of movie it wanted to be and delivered on all cylinders. This movie is a ton of fun from start to finish with smart, humorous writing and a set of great characters that you get to watch go through the motions of their undead lives.

There is no denying that this film will be going on my Halloween movie playlist and I cannot say a bad thing about it. I am going to give What We Do In The Shadows a solid “A” on the horror genre scale.

I implore you to go see this film come October 27th-30th. If you love a good, smart horror spoof, this film is the one to see. For more reviews on the latest movies to hit the theaters, check out my movie blog!


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