Sorry – couldn’t resist. No doubt heaps of reviews of What We Do in the Shadows will contain the words ‘biting comedy’ purely because it’s about vampires. And it got me thinking: is the comedy actually biting? I went to see the film yesterday and I have to say… no.
Don’t get me wrong, the film was good. Laugh-out-loud funny in quite a few places. But the humour was more playfully nibbling than biting.
It was just entertaining enough for one-and-a-half hours. I was worried about fifteen minutes in that they’d taken a single idea and flogged it to death, but the film soon picked up and I really enjoyed it. I’d even be keen to watch it again.
There was nothing ingenious, controversial or profound in there. It was just vampires dealing with mundane, everyday problems, and that was the point. It was an understated approach to horror. Kind of like the Shaun of the Dead of vampire movies, but not as hard-hitting. (It almost became hard-hitting at the end then chickened out.) It was simply a laidback comedy that didn’t take itself seriously – the perfect New Zealand comedy, really.
Of course, being from Britain, I’ll always think that British comedy is the best in the world, but New Zealand comedy definitely seems to have gotten funnier lately.
What We Do in the Shadows has the makings of a cult classic and it’s definitely worth watching. Not necessarily at the cinema – in fact its style is more suited to an ordinary telly anyway.