I could listen to someone from New Zealand talk forever.
That’s just one of the many reasons I was excited to see “What We Do in the Shadows,” written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this weekend.
The film is a comedy focusing on a group of vampires living together in New Zealand and trying to fit in with modern society while developing an agreeable roommate relationship that will not interfere with their eternal friendships.
Clement and Waititi also star in the film as Vladislav and Viago and live with two other vampires, Deacon and Peter.
As they try to find happiness and victims that allow them to survive, the vampires welcome a documentary film crew to follow them around and record their escapades and conflicts at home and out on the town.
They also take in a younger vampire, Nick, (from Twilight!) and a human friend, Stu, who they vow not to kill and turn into a vampire.
Clement and Waititi effectively weave in lore about vampires (such as that they can’t see themselves in mirrors and sleep during the day) with allowing characters to discover modern things like the Internet and digital cameras. The visual and verbal humor is consistent throughout the film and it’s one that’s fun to see in a crowded theater. The late show I saw on Friday had a good crowd and I hope the film continues to build an audience.
One of my favorite parts of the film is knowing going into it (after hearing interviews with Clement and Waititi on the Nerdist podcast as well as an episode of Sklarbro Country) how passionate they were about their idea and getting the film made.
Another plus is that Rhys Darby has a role in the film as the leader of a pack of werewolves (not swear-wolves.) If you’re a fan of Clement and/or Waititi’s work you’ll probably recognize some familiar faces in the film from their past projects. Waititi was also a writer and director for “Flight of the Conchords.”
“Flight of the Conchords” was a cult classic, of course, and I also recommend Darby’s series, “Short Poppies, which is streaming on Netflix. The show is also filmed in a documentary style and is based on a journalist profiling people in a small town in New Zealand, all characters played by Darby.
Fans of Clement and Waititi will definitely like this film and I hope they develop a whole new audience and continue to work on more projects together.
In the meantime, because of a reference in the film, I think I will watch “The Lost Boys” soon. It seems like it is a movie that will be enjoyable today even though I didn’t see it at the time it was released in 1987.
In other news, thanks to the trailers before “What We Do in the Shadows,” my calendar is marked to see “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter,” about a Japanese woman who watches the movie Fargo and believes it includes clues to finding a large amount of money in the U.S., later this month.
I also may see Big Hero 6 today. AND ICYMI (how could you) season 3 of House of Cards is on Netflix now.
Okay, that is all. Bye!