Movie review: “What We Do in the Shadows” (2014)

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“I came to this country for love. Some people freak out a bit about the age difference. They think, ‘what is this 96-year-old lady doing with a man four times her age?’ They can call me Cradle-snatcher. Who cares?”

Vampires used to command a requisite level of respect and dread from those who read of their exploits, though ultra-popular pieces of mainstream Hollywood schlock (The Twilight “saga”) and campy pay cable bacchanalia (HBO’s True Blood), among other slings and silver-tipped arrows, have in recent years done an impressive lot to rob them of their mystique*. If the sly, silly, incredibly slight New Zealand mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows accomplishes anything, and that’s an open question, it may be in how it skillfully balances the absurdity of its premise – four ancient Kiwi vampires navigate the modern world as bickering flatmates – with its refusal to dismiss its protagonists themselves as inherently ridiculous. These are blasé narcissists and immature neurotics who also happen to be vampires, very much, it must be said, in the vein (sorry) of departed, beloved HBO comedy series Flight of the Conchords, with which Shadows shares endorsement from the incredibly official and impressive-sounding New Zealand Documentary Board. Continue reading “Movie review: “What We Do in the Shadows” (2014)”