BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

What We Do in the Shadows (2015) - Blu-ray Review

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What we do in the shadows - Blu-ray Review

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4 beers

Bloody brilliant!

Unfolding in a style not unlike a typical primetime reality show, What We Do in the Shadows treats the day-to-day struggles of blood-lusting vampires in a very amusing way. It is a mockumentary in the satirical style of Christopher Guest (This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman) as four vampires share a flat in New Zealand and are filmed by a camera crew who are promised not to be harmed by the undead during the filming. If you aren’t chuckling already, this might not be the film for you as the gags at the expense of the vampiric undead are as sharp and as bloody as their fangs.

Written, directed and starring Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (both from Flight of the Concords), What We Do in the Shadows delivers a horror comedy for people who both love and hate vampires. The film – through the characters of Viago (Waitit), Vladislav (Clement), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Petyr (Ben Fransham) – tackles the public’s love of the hipster vampire (thanks, in part, to the Twilight fanbase) and, with a keen eye on technology, plays with the idea of introducing some fairly ancient undead folk to Twitter and Facebook while, at the same time, keeping the real mythology and lore down in the basement.  

It begins as the vampires awaken one night. Both the camera crew and the vampires are nervous. Viago is our host throughout the film. He smiles for the camera shyly as he narrates what he is doing and why. He slowly makes his way through the house, peeking to make sure it is indeed night. He gently, as if afraid to piss them off, awakens the others in a humorous manner. While the others do provide interviews and commentary, he is the first we connect with in the comedy.

It is ancient-looking Petyr, who looks like Count Orlok (from the classic 1922 silent film Nosferatu), that the other vampires – who look like ordinary men – are slightly afraid of. He’s cranky, behaves savagely, and doesn’t really care what he’s wearing. The others, maintaining their fashions from the era they were turned vampire in, do and – as they immediately start arguing about the flat roommate rules and why Deacon sucks at washing the dishes – are a bit more accepting of the modern world … even if they do shy away from it.

The film is a total trip. It never shies away from the horror aspect but definitely toys with its audience as it balances humor with lots of gushing blood. The amount of blood in the scene where Viago accidently hits a main artery in a woman he is wanting to keep alive is precious. More than likely, a lot of the film is adlibbed with only basic scenes worked out. It’s an edge that only adds to the charm of the movie. It co-stars Cori Gonzalez-Macuer as one of Petyr’s new vampire recruits that the rest of the gang immediately regrets ever inviting over and Jackie Van Beek as their human servant who tirelessly awaits her turn to be turned.

Full on fur-flying encounters with rival gangs of werewolves and past loves, What We Do in the Shadows effectively and humorously details the “hidden” life of these four vampires. It takes most of the stereotypes we associate with vampires and drives a stake through them with twists and comedic turns. The three main vampires are always verbally sparring with one another and when their anger becomes physical they can’t help but fly like suspended rockets toward one another.

What We Do in the Shadows is quirky and intelligent and dares deliver a much better film about vampires than one could ever expect.

What we do in the shadows - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for some language.
Runtime:
86 mins
Director
: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Writer:
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Cast:
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer
Genre
: Comedy | Horror
Tagline:
What we do in the shadows
Memorable Movie Quote: "We're Werewolves, not Swear-Wolves."
Distributor:
Paladin
Official Site: http://whatwedointheshadows.com/
Release Date:
February 13, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 21, 2015
Synopsis: Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane - like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

What we do in the shadows - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - July 21, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English; English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Paramount Home Entertainment releases What We Do in the Shadows on blu-ray with a richly detailed 1080p transfer. Colors are lush even if darkness surrounds the house these “vampires” are residing in. While the lighting – remember that this is “reality” – can be rough and look unprofessional at times, that is part of the artistic direction of the film and should be praised. There are a lot of strong textures that the transfer brings out. Details in the backgrounds don’t go by unnoticed. Black levels are deep and strong and so are the abundance of shadows, always maintaining their edges. The sound is presented here in a rich DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack that is nothing short of penetrating.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi let the film do all of the funny stuff. They don’t really bring humor to their commentary as they talk about the making of the movie.

Special Features:

This one is full of surprises. While it quietly slipped in and out of theaters in its limited run, you wouldn’t have guessed as much from the amount of love Paramount allows here. Up first is a raw collection of bits from behind the scenes, followed by a good assembly of funny deleted scenes. There is also some video bit which includes the original short film that inspired the movie, in-character interviews for the filming of the mockumentary, some promo videos, and a gallery of fifty posters for the film.

  • Behind the Shadows (18 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (25 min)
  • Video Extras (22 min)
  • Original Short Film (27 min)
  • Interviews (18 min)
  • Promo Videos (6 min)
  • Poster Gallery

 

 

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