This Big Brother style documentary of four centuries-old vampires living together in a flatshare in New Zealand is just so hilarious, it made me laugh out loud so many times I can't even keep track!
The so-called "mockumentary" starts with 379-year-old vampire Viago welcoming a camera team into his spooky home in Wellington, New Zealand. Viago then gives the camera team a tour around the flat he shares with fellow vampire flatmates Vladislav (869 years), Deacon (183 years) and Petyr (8,000 years, who lives in the basement). After waking all his flatmates with a hilarious "waky, waky" call, Viago gathers them downstairs for a flat meeting, in which he complains that Deacon didn't wash his dishes in 5 years.
We then follow the group on their day-to-day, or rather night-to-night adventures: from epic nights out in Wellington and their search for victims to feast on to the relationships with their "servants", werewolves and newly created vampire Nick.
The Film Locations
The producers and directors of this film are all from New Zealand, so the setting was their home.
New Zealand's capital Wellington is the main setting and filming location. Thus, all of the What We Do in the Shadows film locations can be found in Wellington. We see a lot of the city centre, not famously known for its beauty, but nevertheless a great glimpse into "the nightlife" down under.
According to ImDb, the What We Do in the Shadows film locations in Wellington include "The Big Kumara" on 60 Dixon St (night spot for vampires), "Boogie Wonderland" on 25–29 Courtenay Place (the guys go clubbing with Nick), the Yeung Shing Restaurant on 296 Willis St (Nick tries to convince Stu that he's eating worms) and the Victoria Bowling Club on 125 Pirie St (the setting for The Unholy Masquerade at "The Cathedral of Despair").
The vampire gang on a night-out in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: rollingstone
All along, Viago (Taika Waititi), a former 17th century dandy, comes across as the most organized and most caring one of the vampire bunch. His mission: Keeping everyone happy, including his victims in their final hours.
One of the best features of this film are the various accents: From Viago's German accent to the typical New Zealand accent of Nick or the Eastern European ones of Deacon and Vladislav (I think the similarities of the latter and Dracula are kind of on purpose).
Taika Waititi as "dandy vampire" Viago. Photo: seattletimes.com
Actor, co-director, writer and producer Taika Waititi imitates his character's German accent so well that I almost believed he was actually German or Austrian. It was only when he speaks to one of his former "servants" in German via a skype call that I could hear that he is not a native German speaker.
My final verdict: Throw in some awkward reality TV moments and some serious Kiwi style self-ironic humour and you will get a refreshingly entertaining indie comedy!
***** 5 out of 5 stars