What We Do In The Shadows, a vampiric mockumentary written by Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Taiki Waititi (Boy, Eagle Vs Shark), sinks its teeth into the vamp flick genre and Cinéma vérité’ doco style, only to ‘turn’ these borrowed tropes into something very other, very deadpan, very Kiwi.
The film is loaded with pavlova nuances from the humble, taciturn bloke Stu, to the hegemonic wolf pack culture of kiwi mates, to the protracted Richie Macawesque, ‘ah, yeah, pause’ response made by kiwi vampmate, Nick; all of which are made more mince pie to the eccentricities and dandyisms of the European vampires.
What makes What We do in the Shadows so deliciously diverting is how incongruous vampiric tropes are with the reserved, unostentatious makeup of New Zealand. New Zealand at unease in its own skin is exposed through the films spotlight on the shadowy inbetween, awkward stuff, the everyday, not-so-glamorous things that happen to Vampires: dishes not being washed, not getting an invite into a club, flying through windows, flatmate meetings and house safety hazards. The ‘we’ in the films title stands for all New Zealanders, a mockumentary on cinema of the unease and the vampiric nature of Kiwis–bloodsuckers of myth, withdrawn, loners at the bottom of the world. “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat human.”
Even for non-kiwis this film will tickle anyone with a taste for dead-pan, wry humor, displayed in Flight of the Conchords and Eagle VS Shark.