Waititi plays Viago, who welcomes the camera crew into his home, where he lives alongside Vladislav (Clement) and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh). The three flatmates are all vampires, and have lived for hundreds of years, as we study their way of life in an ever-changing, contemporary world. We see how adapt to technology and fashion (despite not being able to se their reflections), while exploring the obstacles, such as only being able to leave the house at night, where they must hunt for fresh blood. However when they unwittingly transform their guest Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) into a vampire, his naïve outlook has the potential to disrupt their unique way of life, as he introduces a human being, Stu (Stuart Rutherford) into their otherwise intimate collective.
There are definite comparisons to be made to Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, released earlier in the year, in how we revel in the mundane, playing up to the normal, everyday activities vampires must contend with, such as hoovering and paying rent. Yet this is a far less subtle affair, and more patently amusing, with a droll wit that exists throughout. Remaining faithful to their brand of comedy, What We Do in the Shadows is extremely naturalistic in its deft execution, contradicting the supernatural elements effectively. This is epitomised when they’re floating around, hoovering at the same time – capturing the essence of this entire project in a nutshell.
In fact, the special effects implemented are highly impressive, especially given the modest sized budget. But it’s in the character development where this picture truly excels, as every single role is so well-crafted, and funny of their own accord, extending to the likes of vampire groupie Jackie (Jackie van Beek) and werewolf Anton (Rhys Darby). Even Stu, who just hangs out with the undead, nonplussed and nonchalant, barely saying a word, is utterly hilarious.
Given the wealth of humorous characters and the countless jokes that come with this territory, there is certainly scope for What We Do in the Shadows to continue on in the form of a sitcom – and perhaps it may suit the content more, as while this film is consistently funny, you do feel that it may be even more enjoyable in smaller doses. As, ultimately, this is just one joke stretched out, but thankfully for our resident filmmakers, it’s a really bloody funny one.