The first Kiwi film to make it to my “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” series.

by Martin Hafer

Last year, thanks in part to a Kickstarter campaign, What We Do in the Shadows arrived in film festivals all over the world…and audiences were stunned!  Why?  Because it’s one weird, very weird movie!  And, it’s the first entry to my “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” series from New Zealand.

The film is a marvelous mockumentary that makes fun of the current reality television fad.  In many ways, it’s like an MTV series like The Real World or Jersey Shore….meets Twilight!!  Somehow, a film crew gained access to a strange home where four vampires lived.  And, it’s in tiny Wellington, New Zealand of all places!  According to the film, this unlikely place is actually a hotbed of vampires, werewolves, zombies and more…and these four undead guys are allowing some humans to come into their previously hidden lives.  The residents of this home are a motley and mostly lovable group of loser vampires ranging from the rather likable Viago to the incredibly scary and Nosferatu-like Petyr and you follow them through the course of their evenings over a period of many months.

What We Do in the Shadows
Directed by
Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer
Release Date
13 February 2015
Martin’s Grade: A

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While this idea is crazy and a bit silly, the joke could have worn thin very quickly–and it probably would have with lesser filmmakers and actors.  Instead, the film maintains a wonderful tongue-in-cheek mood throughout and constantly delivers laughs…and, oddly, a lot of charm (well, that is when the guys aren’t feeding off Wellingtonians).  It also really helps that you like these folks!  The bottom line is that this film is completely unique and fun…and if you see it with your friends, they won’t believe what they’re watching!  And, they’ll thank you for suggesting it.  And, it just recently debuted on Netflix, so finding this strange film shouldn’t be a major problem.

By the way, I happened to have actually been in Wellington last September and I don’t recall having seen any zombies, witches, werewolves or vampires (oh, my!).  Of course, I didn’t happen to be there at night….