What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
January 10, 2015 7:57 PM - Subscribe

A low-budget, funny, charming, and silly mock documentary following the post-deceased life of four vampire friends sharing a flat in the suburbs of New Zealand.‎

Come for the masquerade ball hosted by the vampire, witch, and zombie societies.‎ Come for the corridors that would embarrass a Classic Who production crew. 

Stay for the Eastern European accents, slovenly vampires, "flying," the devastating shaming by the council, and a most charming May-December romance.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden (24 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Petyr was my favorite character. Any vampire movie that can pull off a shout-out to Nosferatu is aces in my book. The spraying arterial blood was also terrific; it's always bothered me that vampires were such neat eaters.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 8:01 PM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

That chase scene with the backpack gag is classic. I really enjoyed this movie.
posted by Catblack at 10:13 PM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

It was a very charming movie. I loved how mundane the lives of the undead were, from the flat sharing by the vampires to the comedically dull conversations at the masquerade (well, at leapt the one with the zombie) and the werewolf pack/support group.

And Stu... what a guy. I love how all the vampires were fawning over him. And apparently the guy who played him didn't realize the importance of his character while they were shooting. From The Guardian (not the review, another article):
Another unexpected gamble; they tell me about their friend Stu, an IT guy. They asked him if he’d do some tech work for the production, and said they’d shoot a few scenes with him, too – as an IT guy called Stu. He ended up as a major character, although he didn’t know it until he saw the film. Most of the dialogue was improvised and Clement and Waititi shot 125 hours of footage, riffing all over the place, so nobody quite knew what they’d end up with. “Stu thought we were just making fun of him,” says Clement. “We didn’t tell him how central his role was, we didn’t want to make him nervous.”
The Young Ones was mentioned in that article as well, and I think it definitely shows as an inspiration.
posted by bjrn at 1:57 PM on January 11, 2015 [12 favorites]

I watched this on the plane to the US and I think I probably kept some people awake with my cackling. It was great. So many good bits: the jedi mind tricks played on the cops: "Look at this! There's no smoke detector in here! You guys have to get one, what if you had a fire?" My memory of it is patchy since I watched it on the plane, think I will have to give it another viewing.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:23 PM on January 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

Well that explains why Stu was so quiet throughout most of the film. It worked brilliantly, though. He was perfect for the part.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 5:26 PM on January 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

"We're werewolves, not swearwolves!"

"Count to 10, human again!"

I loved this film - it was just what I was looking for in a vampire film, and now I keep making jokes from it.

posted by Katemonkey at 2:03 PM on January 12, 2015

Yes, a great movie. Another great horror-comedy out of NZ recently is Housebound.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:01 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

I was happy to see Jemaine Clement and Rhys Darby (together) again. Really, the whole cast was great, and the weird addition of Stu was perfect. This is a cast of characters I'd like to see in a sequel, because I grew so fond of them all.

Vladislav the Poker was probably my favorite, especially for his joy in finding that you could virtually poke people, and his dark bidding ... on a table. He was even good enough to do an interview with a horror fan, who had some immature questions (to which Vlad responded, "what are you, 180?").
posted by filthy light thief at 10:07 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

There's a soon-to-be-failed Kickstarter for the US release. I say it won't make it, because they only have $232,623 pledged of $400,000, and a week to go, which looks like quite a leap.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:39 AM on February 5, 2015

For someone who visits Wellington a few times a year, this movie was amazing - it nails the feel of the town.
posted by xiw at 12:40 PM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Looks like they made their kickstarter funding after all. I saw it this past Friday in the theater. Even funnier than I expected. Would definitely watch a sequel. My favorite part was when they had to help each other get dressed up for a night on the town because they all couldn't see their own reflections. Totally on point vampire jokes.
posted by dogwalker at 2:33 PM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

My guy and I just saw this a couple of days ago. I usually don't love mockumentaries because I hate cringing for main characters, but I really liked this one. No one was more or less dorky than anyone else. That's hilarious about Stu's "character- I had no idea.

(Who let Petyr out?!")
posted by small_ruminant at 9:32 PM on March 7, 2015

I loved this. So many scenes that are all vying for my favorite. But even just the beginning was fabulous (which is conveniently available for re-watching on the Guardian's website). I loved how gleeful Viago is to be on camera.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:23 PM on March 15, 2015

I loved this, it hits right on my cheap-production funny bone. If it'd had really awesome effects (omigod the flying) it'd have undermined the low-key awkwardness of the characters. I loved that Stu was just your average nice guy and everyone thought he was so cool. I bet he ends up leader of the pack.
posted by harriet vane at 11:54 PM on April 11, 2015

Swearwolf/swearwolves is my new go to substitute for cursing. "What in the swearwolf is that?" "All you swearwolves better pay attention to me!" etc.
posted by jvilter at 1:45 PM on April 25, 2015

I just watched this last night and I loved it. Very subtle comedic acting by the whole crew, even Clement displayed a lot of pathos. I initially thought that certain of the characters would be my favorites but by the end of the movie I loved them all: Viago, Vlad, Deacon(!), Nick, Stu, the werewolf pack, Jackie, even the Beast.

It reminded a lot in tone of both Jackson's Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles.
posted by nikitabot at 5:02 PM on January 10, 2016

Finally got a chance to see this. I almost wish that it was a TV series instead of a 90 minute film.
posted by octothorpe at 9:47 AM on January 31, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've been watching this every few months and I just can't quit laughing. The fact that they always end up at The Big Kumara just slays me, because that is EXACTLY where you end up when you have nowhere else to go.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:06 AM on February 4, 2016

Google tells me that The Big Kumara in Wellington closed in 2012, I wonder if they filmed there because it was empty?
posted by octothorpe at 6:15 AM on February 4, 2016

I finally got to see it and I laughed my ass off! Everything was just perfect.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2016

I just caught the last 3/4 on HBO last night and I gotta watch the beginning! I intended to have it on as background but not something that I'd wanna pay attention to. It was like "oh ok, another vampire movie, I can put that on and go do what I need to do around the house". Ended up watching the whole thing right where it picked up.

That story about Stu is just the best. No wonder he looked so out of place in a lot of the shots, like "uhhh what am I supposed to be doing here?"
posted by numaner at 12:55 PM on June 30, 2016

Anybody else rewatching this classic b/c of Halloween?
posted by Going To Maine at 9:20 PM on October 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by tofu_crouton at 7:19 PM on October 28, 2018

Really enjoyed this. Big fan of Clement and what I've seen of Waititi's work. It started off a bit slow and I wondered if it would hold up for a whole film, but once the plot kicked in it picked up.

And apparently the guy who played [Stu] didn't realize the importance of his character while they were shooting.

Ha, that was great. I was thinking he did a very good job of "acting awkward when you're with your friend's friends".

"Look at this! There's no smoke detector in here! You guys have to get one, what if you had a fire?"

"Shall we kill them?"
"No, no! Get some more fire safety tips first."
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:21 AM on November 9, 2018

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