What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

From beginning to end, this comedy from New Zealand is a pleasure to watch. A sort of mockumentary not unlike Christopher Guest’s oeuvre, it features vampires who invite a reality film crew into their home for months at a time. With this original idea,  Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (both pulling triple duty as co-stars, co-directors and co-writers) manage to deliver a home run of a comedy that could easily have been hamstrung by its concept. At a scant 86 minutes, it manages to be screamingly funny more than a few times and delivers an impressive amount of laughs per minute, with every other line managing to elicit a reaction thanks to the superb writing and comedic performing. Clement is terrific as usual, but the movie belongs to Waitiki: He owns every shot he’s in thanks to sharply refined comedic skills, and walks away with a number of the movie’s best scenes. The humor may be too deadpan for some, but those who enjoy sophisticated humor will find plenty to love here. In supporting roles, both Rhys Darby and Jackie van Beek each have a number of standout scenes.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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