Last week, I went to see What We Do In the Shadows.
I don’t know if I loved it the way some people do, but I certainly enjoyed it.
Viago, Vladislav, Deacon, and Petyr are all roommates. They’re also all vampires from various eras who haven’t quite adjusted to the current age yet. A documentary crew follows them as they attempt to navigate the complexities of modern life, like chore wheels and Google.
1. If I actually get my lazy ass off the couch to go see something, I figure I should probably write a review of it. But the truth is, I don’t know how much I really have to say about What We Do In the Shadows. It kind of struck me like a good sick movie. You know, when you’re not feeling great and you just want to lie down and watch really silly shit? I feel like this could be a totally good comfort movie. I could marathon it with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Clue, Spaceballs, and — if I was feeling particularly miserable — something more embarrassing, like Homeward Bound or The Chipmunk Adventure.
So far, this movie has received very high praise — people seem ready to hail it as the Funniest Movie of the Year, and to hell with the fact that it’s only March. I did like What We Did In the Shadows, but even as I was watched the movie, I remember thinking, This is funny and all, but I’m not sure it’s the end-all-be-all of parodies. And honestly, I still feel that way — although I will admit that I really enjoyed how the film wrapped up, like, it kind of made the whole movie for me. And I’m willing to believe that I could enjoy it more on repeat viewings..
2. Anyone who’s seen Flight of the Conchords or Eagle vs Shark is probably already familiar with these guys. This was my introduction, however, and it makes me marginally more interested in seeing more of their work. (Only marginally, though. I’m pretty sure there are no vampires in Flight of the Conchords.)
If you’re curious, my favorite vampire is probably Viago (Taika Waititi).
Viago is the fussy dandy of the group who lays towels down before killing his victims, in a not-always-successful effort to keep the furniture clean. He’s kind of weirdly adorable. I particularly loved how he kept awkwardly smiling at the cameras, particularly in the beginning of the movie.
Admittedly, Vladislav is a lot of fun too. I about died when he Vanna Whited his torture chamber. Also, he had the best vampire selfies.
3. What We Do In the Shadows does have a bit of a boy’s club feel to it, unfortunately, but I will give it this much: I like Jackie (Jackie van Beek) well enough, and I like how her story plays out by the end. Jackie is Deacon’s human servant, and I was sort of worried where they were going with her at first. Ultimately, though, it worked for me.
Other humans I enjoyed in this movie: Stu (Stuart Rutherford).
You just can’t help but like Stu. He is the most blandly affable character I think I’ve ever seen, and I’m not sure why he works so well, but he does. Everybody loves Stu!
4. Though I think my favorite people in this movie have to be the werewolves. I won’t say too much about them — there will be no Spoiler Section in this Baby Review — but I thought they were hilarious. This is easily my favorite vampire vs werewolf conflict ever.
5. Finally, the next person who betrays or disappoints me in any way? They will have to suffer the Procession of Shame. And if you’ve seen this movie, you know that’s not something that can just be walked off. The Procession of Shame is serious business.
It’s ridiculous, how much I want to sentence someone to this horrible fate.
Deacon: “I think we drink virgin blood because it sounds cool.”
Vladislav: I think of it like this: if you were going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had fucked it.”
Deacon: “When you are a vampire, you become very sexy.”
Anton: “Hey, don’t swear! What are we?”
Werewolves: “We’re werewolves, not swear-wolves.”
Vladislav: “Stu is the first human friend I’ve had in a long time. With humans, there is the tendency to die.”
Stu: “We can look at her photos, or we can poke her.”
Vladislav: “. . . yes.”
Nick: “I know you turned me into a vampire. Maybe don’t do that to him. He’s a vegetarian. The last thing he’d want to do is eat a live being or eat blood or eat meat.”
Viago: “If you’re going to eat a victim on my nice clean couch, put down some newspaper on the floor, and some towels. It’s not hard to do.”
Vladislav: “We’re vampires. We don’t put down towels.”
Jackie: “If I had a penis, I would have been bitten years ago.”
Vladislav: “You will not eat the camera guy. Maybe one camera guy.”
Viago: “Yeah, some of our clothes are from our victims. You might bite someone and then think, ‘Oooh, these are nice pants’.”
Silly and enjoyable. Some of the jokes didn’t land for me, but overall I thought the movie was pretty funny. And I really liked the ending, which was nice. Nothing’s more frustrating than watching a good movie with a bad ending.
Can’t we all just get along?