What We Do in the Shadows: the Hilarity of Supernatural Mundanity

What We Do in the Shadows: the Hilarity of Supernatural Mundanity

I recently watched the 2014 mockumentary horror comedy film “What We Do in the Shadows”, a movie about four vampires living together in a flat in 2013 New Zealand.  The film stars and is directed by Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi, best known for Flight of the Concords and “The Hunt For the Wilderpeople” respectively.  To sum up the feel of the film, it’s like a mixture between classic vampire lore and “This is Spinal Tap”, and the results are hilarious.

One of my favorite thing about this movie is that it deals with the minutia of everyday (un)life for the vampiric housemates; to give a few examples, we see them brushing their teeth, their hobbies (one of the vampires very much enjoys knitting), and how they delegate house chores, such as doing dishes.  This film is littered with hilarious scenes showing the vampires using their powers to accomplish very mundane goals, such as using their powers of levitation to vacuum hard to reach areas, and using their powers of persuasion to enthrall victims into doing their laundry.   In one scene, they make mention of the fact that Vampires don’t have reflections, so to that end it is incredibly difficult to know how they look, so to get around this they draw portraits of eachcother to show them how their outfits look.

However, despite how often they use their unholy powers to accomplish mundane tasks, we’re often reminded that these vampires are the real deal, they kill people by feasting on their blood, and by establishing this juxtaposition the film makes the brutal scenes more brutal, and the scenes dealing with everyday life even funnier.  Well, let me explain why exactly I think this is funny.

richard

Pictured here is a venn diagram, showing why exactly this movie works so well.  By crossing over the supernatural, which often encompasses things that are beyond comprehension, such as ghosts, werewolves, and vampires, beings that we don’t usually imagine doing anything other than spooky supernatural stuff like, disemboweling people or haunting houses.  So, when we cross the supernatural into the realm of reality, things that are very relatable, like arguing about chores with your roommates, it creates a hilarious juxtaposition where we’re forced to relate with the unrelatable.

In short I loved “What We Do in The Shadows”, it’s a hilarious film that explores the mundanity of supernatural life in the modern era.  If I had to rate the film on an arbitrary scale, I’d give “What We Do in the Shadows”:

I loved it out of approximately twelve or so stars

0d26466029

Advertisements

The last movie that made me cry

I’m not too sappy of a guy, and that being said it’s pretty hard to make me cry, but the 2016 film Genius managed to do just that.  Now, I’m just learning now that critics weren’t fans of this movie, but I really enjoyed it.  The film mainly focuses on the complex friendship between renowned book editor. Maxwell Perkins, and writer, Thomas Wolfe.

Now, I should probably give a little bit of context as to the state I was in when I watched this movie.  I had the flu, and was drowning my aches, chills, and coughs with NyQuil, so needless to say, I was just barely hanging onto lucidity.

Well, the main scene that really got to me was, at one point Maxwell Perkins invited Thomas Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda to a dinner party. During the party Wolfe asks Fitzgerald if Perkins makes him cut out anything from his work (Wolfe had to cut out substantial portions of the two thousand plus page novels he brought to Perkins in the film), to which Fitzgerald answers that he doesn’t have to cut anything, because his work is never as long as Wolfe’s.  This results in a blow out where Wolfe says that the only reason Fitzgerald doesn’t write as much as him, is because he can’t, essentially calling him a washout.

Now at this point in Fitzgerald’s life he was struggling to write anything, and his wife had only just recently been released from an institution, so Perkins takes massive umbrage with Wolfe essentially shitting on him as a writer.  Perkins takes Wolfe outside and berates him for his behavior, and asks him how many words he wrote that day (five thousand), to which Perkins replies with what I thought was a beautiful devastating line: “Scott wrote maybe a hundred, if today was a good day.  He needs to write as much as you do, he fights over every word!”

And it was then, laid up in my sick bed, in the grips of a fever, that I started to well up, because I know how it feels to need to write, to fight over every word.  I felt for F. Scott Fitzgerald in that moment, I ached for him, because I couldn’t and can’t t imagine being so talented, but unable to do anything with that talent, and to be criticized so heavily for it.