Cult classic ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ inspires new spin-off.

Izzi Harris, Film Analyst

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With the new spin-off television series coming to FX in the coming weeks, I thought I’d do an article on the film that started it all; What We Do In The Shadows (WWDITS).

A comedic horror mockumentary based on present-day vampires, this 2014 film goes into the lives of three flatmates, who happen to be hundreds of years old and deathly allergic to the sun.  


Follow as Vladislav, Deacon and Viago explore the trials of living together “Look at all these bloody dishes!” followed by a shot of a mountain of – and no hyperbole here – actual bloody dishes) and what happens when the group meet a pack of Werewolves.


Featuring writing geniuses Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi.Clement is famous for Flight of the Conchords and, more recently, the shiny singing crab,Tamatoa, from Moana. Waititi has recently been brought to Hollywood’s attention with mega-hits Thor: Ragnarok and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.


These Kiwi legends come together to write the weirdest and one of the most underestimated comedies of all time, all presented in an always-humorous New Zealand accent.


This film will have you laughing for days as you watch the vampires struggle to enjoy the Wellington nightlife.


Selected for the Sundance, Berlin and SXSW film festivals, WWDITS is the eighth highest grossing New Zealand film ever, with two other Taika Waititi films being in the top ten alongside (Wilderpeople being number one and his 2010 dramedy Boy being number two – I’d highly recommend both).


Having a recent resurgence in popularity, the film has inspired two spin offs – a New Zealand show called Wellington Paranormal, as well as a namesake-inspired American TV series that features Waititi and Clement behind the camera.


The series will include new, previously unseen, vampires coming to the forefront. One vampire, in particular, stands out; he’s an ‘energy vampire’, who feeds off the energy of humans by boring them half to death – we’ve all met one of those before. Cast include Matt Berry (The IT Crowd) and will hopefully reach the same level of quality and hilarity as the original.

WWDITS remains to be one of the most unusual yet impressive comedies of the past ten years, purely because it stays away from any ‘Hollywood’ sense of overplaying a joke. It instead dives right into satisfying audiences’ childish delight, while still giving off a ‘horror gone wrong’ style.


Vampires pull watchers is fully onboard with their wit and never ending uncertainty at how to use anything invented past the 19th Century. (“Leave me to do my dark bidding on the internet!” “What are you bidding on?” “A table.”)


Watch as they finally see a sunrise for the first time in years (courtesy of a helpful YouTube video) and transform into bats – be prepared to roll with the punches as What We Do in the Shadows takes you on a ride that you can’t help but enjoy.

Watch if you loved: Shaun of the Dead, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Happy Death Day and anything Monty Python.

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