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.


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