REVIEW: What We Do in the Shadows

16 03 2015

what_we_do_in_the_shadowsAfter the vampire boom of the late 2000s (all thanks to the “Twilight” saga), it makes sense that we now get a reactionary boom of revisionist bloodsuckers.  From action flick “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” to hipster indies like “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” it feels like culture has begun to reclaim the terrifying creature from the Cullens.

Now, add Kiwi mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows” to the pile. The film comes from the team behind cult hit TV series “Flight of the Concords,” Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, and their latest effort seems destined to dwell in a similar realm of fandom.  The movie is undeniably clever and funny on a number of occasions, yet those moments come inconsistently (and a little too infrequently).

When Clement and Waititi realize their vision for three centuries-old vampires who are hopelessly out of place courting fresh blood in the modern world, “What We Do in the Shadows” recalls “This is Spinal Tap” in the hilarity of its pathetic mundanity.  But when they miss, the film feels like an improv sketch that cannot achieve liftoff from the very beginning and then crawls its way towards a far-off conclusion.  Even at under an hour and a half, the uneven mix of these two extremes makes the whole thing drag.  B2halfstars