Horror and comedy don’t always go well together, but New Zealand filmmakers Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi breathed new life into the tricky hybrid genre with their 2014 movie What We Do in the Shadows, which they wrote, directed and starred in.
For their horror-comedy series of the same name – they don’t star in it but there’s a delightful cameo – they use the same mockumentary format but with different characters. Like its predecessor, it’s comedic genius.
The series is about the everyday life of four vampires who’ve been living together for centuries in Staten Island, New York.
There’s Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak), a ferocious 14th-century pillager who’s now more concerned with house meetings, chores and general hygiene; the easily annoyed and clever Nadja (brilliantly portrayed by Natasia Demetriou); her oversexed and pompous husband, Laszlo (Matt Berry), and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), a psychic vampire who feeds by draining his victims’ energy – either by boring or annoying them.
The only human in the house is Nandor’s assistant, Guillermo (Harvey Guillén). His tasks include disposing of drained corpses, cleaning the gothic mansion and recruiting virgins for feasts – a delicacy for which vampires have a great fondness. He desperately wishes his master would turn him into a vampire.
At first glance, What We Do in the Shadows is simply off-beat and goofy fun, but the writing is whip smart and the acting incomparable.
The series has been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards but deserves even more accolades. And best of all, there’s not just one but two bingeworthy seasons to sink your teeth into.
– LAURI KING
2019-2020. 20 EPISODES. 16VSL.