Here’s a vampire movie for people who don’t like vampire movies. What We Do in the Shadows is packed with laughs, almost all of them are intentional. In this mock documentary from New Zealand, we follow the lives of aging bloodsuckers who need a little human vitality to give them fresh blood and a new lease on life. Jemaine Clement, immortal on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, plays the orgy-loving Vladislav, a vamp who’s lived for 862 years without learning much of anything. His buddy Viago (Taika Waititi), a kid of 379, tries to hide parts of his past, especially the Nazi parts. But things leak out.
As co-writers and directors, Clement and Waitiki give a lot of the good jokes to the other vamps sharing their digs — Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), the young, 183-year-old rebel, and Petyr (Ben Fransham), the old bat at 8,000. Don’t fret about keeping everyone straight. Just watch those bloody dishes in the sink, and keep an eye out for that poker Vladislav carries around. Is What We Do in the Shadows one sketch stretched to movie length? Maybe. But when the vamps hit the town to party with werewolves, zombies and the strangest creatures of all, you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face. A good sign.