What We Do in the Shadows

Horror-comedy is a tricky genre. You know this. But the Kiwi team that brought us Flight of the Conchords gets it spot-on right with this spoof about a quartet of bloodsuckers from various epochs dealing with 21st-century life in a Wellington apartment.

The film opens with a testy flat meeting in which the gormless Viago (Taika Waititi), an 18th-century dandy, is scolding the others for “not washing the bloody dishes” (heh!). His flatmates include Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), an old-school, medieval torturer who calls himself “Vlad the Poker” (because “Impaler” was taken), and the rocker Deacon (Jonathan Brugh). And in the basement (natch) dwells the Nosferatu-like Petyr (Ben Fransham), who mostly hisses.

This laugh-out-loud funniest mockumentary since This Is Spinal Tap is basically a series of linked set pieces, a structure that perfectly suits the material. The film never sags. There’s the rival “polite” werewolf pack, a suggestion on how to avoid bloodstains on the sofa when having a date for dinner (wink), getting past nightclub bouncers (vampires must be asked in), mirrors that don’t work and what to Google. This is clearly not Twilight. A bit gory, of course, but never gratuitously so. I may watch it again. Japanese title: Sharehouse with Vampire. (86 min)