AWFJ Movie of the Week, Feb. 9-15: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

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Shadows AWFJ posterOpening Feb. 13, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is What We Do in the Shadows, the hilarious vampire mockumentary from writer-directors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. The comedy pair have already proved they are masters of spoof with their hit TV show Flight of the Conchords, and here turn their attention to the shadowy world of the undead with similarly side-splitting results. Read on…

Waititi and Clement play vamps Viago and Vladislav who, together with their long-dead friends Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) and the Nosferatu-esque Petyr (Ben Fransham), have been sharing a house for aeons. Naturally such enduring friendships lead to frictions and the joy of What We Do in the Shadows, which is shot like a fly on the wall documentary, comes from the humour of the everyday; here arguments about the washing up are as commonplace as bloodsucking. There’s also plenty of humour to be found in these ancient beings’ attempts to fit into the modern world; Viago’s attempt to find a silk scarf he lost in 1912 by ‘Googling it’, for example. And the vamps’ run in with a group of werewolves trying desperately to stay on the straight and narrow – ‘We’re werewolves, not Swear Wolves’ – is just one of many, many highlights.

Indeed, What We Do in the Shadows is comedy brilliance from start to finish, thanks to its superb performances – the entire cast are experts in comic timing and delivery – and razor sharp observational humour. In fact, it’s so packed full laughs that it’ll likely take you more than one viewing to catch them all. And that’s absolutely no bad thing. — Nikki Baughan

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

MaryAnn Johanson: My pick is *What We Do in the Shadows,* an absolutely hilarious mockumentary spoof on vampires and a low-budget New Zealand film that needs all the help it can get to spread the word. Read full review

Kristy Puchko: Inventive, smart and hilarious, What We Do In The Shadows is a welcomed new take on the vampire genre.

Film Details:

Title: What We Do in the Shadows

Director(s): Taika WaititiJemaine Clement

Release Date: Feb. 13, 2014

Running Time: 86 minutes

Language: English, German

Shooting Location(s): Wellington, New Zealand

Principal Cast: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Jackie van Beek, Jonny Brugh, Cori Gonzales-Macuer, Stu Rutherford

Screenwriter(s):Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement

Production Company: Unison Films (presents), Defender Films, Funny or Die, New Zealand Film Commission

Distributor: Unison Films, Paladin

Official Website

Trailer

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Katherine McLaughlin, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Rebecca Murray, Kristy Puchko, Sheila Roberts, Sara Vizcarrando, and Jeanne Wolf.

Other Movies Opening the Week of Feb. 9-13, 2014:

Feb 10

Accidental Love

Feb. 13

Fifty Shades of Grey

Kingsman: The Secret Service

The Last Five Years

What Do We Do in the Shadows

Old Fashioned

Girl House

The Rewrite

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead

GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, AWFJ.org Associate Editor

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Nikki Baughan

Nikki Baughan is a London-based freelance film critic and features writer. Formerly editor of both Film Review and movieScope magazines, Nikki is currently contributes to various print and online publications, including Screen International, BFI, The List and Film Divider.