What We Do In The Shadows feels like a compilation of best moments from a sitcom rather than a linear narrative. Like Borat its just a load of funny scenes with no clear beginning, middle and end.
The only premise that can be conceived is that it is a comedic mockumentary concerning the wacky, chaotic lives of four vampire flatmates (Viago, Vladislav, Deacon and Petyr) living in modern day New Zealand.
The first twenty-five minutes simply establishes the characters’ biographies and their relationships with each other.
We learn that Viago was once in love with a woman and tried to meet her in New Zealand via delivery in his coffin to her address. Unfortunately, the delivery was delayed and by the time Viago had arrived his love was with someone else.
Viago’s desire is to get back with this woman and you’d this would drive the plot but it doesn’t. Most of the film consists of the group going out to nightclubs, struggling to live with each other and mentoring a new vampire, Nick.
There are progressions as Nick boasts in public about the fact he is a vampire, drawing negative attention from vampire hunters and authorities.
Other developments ensue as the group prepares to go to a masquerade ball where vampires and other supernatural creatures congregate. Vladislav refuses to go as his ex-girlfriend, who he dubs ‘the Beast, is attending the event.
Despite these plot points the storyline is still cluttered with irrelevant subplots and pointless funny moments.
I’ve made it pretty clear at this point that What We Do In The Shadows has a weak plot but I’ve also mentioned it has many funny scenes so the film must succeed as a comedy, right?
I would say the film is more amusing than downright funny.
Every vampire trope in history is mocked in a fairly witty fashion. A good example of this is when the group struggle to get into a nightclub because the bouncers won’t invite them in.
These amusing moments however are not enough to save a plotless film.
On top of that the mockumentary form is very unnecessary, the story unfolds as an ordinary cinematic narrative with only one or two references to the documentary crew.
It didn’t need to be a mockumentary.
In conclusion What We Do In The Shadows deserves credit for its clever satire of the vampire genre but the muddled plot is an unforgivable flaw.
Hence What We Do In The Shadows gets a mediocre 4 out of 10.