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With Jim Sabatini

What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Rhys Darby, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer and Stu Rutherford

Rated: R for some sex, violence and language.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: February 13, 2015 Released by: Unison Films

A New Zealand import that is an impish horror/comedy with emotion to go along with its silliness when it comes to current issues of vampires as the supernatural and mortals have their say. It could be a pretentious reality show cousin to something like Warm Bodies which had an offbeat endearing goofy quality about it.

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi offer surreal bright intensity to their witty and derisive What We Do In The Shadows, especially observant about character interplay while touching on eternal life and repudiated werewolves. When not focused on the obstacles facing an ordinary night out.

It plays out in documentary style with a camera team with crucifixes tails four vampires in a Wellington flat - Waititi is the preening household head/disciplinarian Viago while Clement's Vladislav is the tawny lothario losing his mojo a bit from nearly a millennium ago. Jonathan Brugh's spirited Deacon is kind of into his own thing and Ben Fransham's Petyr dangerous lyskukks in the cellar chamber. Some will enjoy a bellicose assaultive bat moment when their raucousness normality and arguments escalate.

These characters have a way of earning empathy in spite of a fairly wispy storyline that still uses self-doubt to much advantage, at least when it comes to competition, desire, and notably seldom. Being acclimated into society is accelerated by the presence of newcomer Nick (a somewhat dissolute Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) and a human chum Stu (Stuart Rutherford).

Jackie van Beek turns up as Deacon's servant and feeding inadvertently on a main artery can be quite a muck of trouble as one finds out about the lurking issues that leaves many of the characters vulnerable. The climax at a metropolis's
Unholy Masquerade Ball may be a bit inefficacious, yet overall What We Do In The Shadows provokes much comedic, chimerical merriment.

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