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More On The Way From "What We Do In The Shadows" Blend of Scary-Funny Goodness

Consider this a long-overdue review/love letter to a bright spot in a sea of Hollywood blockbusters and gritty reboots.

It's hard to make a scary movie nowadays. Or a genuinely funny one. Both #horror and comedy audiences are weary of the same old jump-scares and weak jokes; we've seen it all before, and it takes a lot to make us actually laugh, cry, or scream. Don't even get us started on #vampires - or mockumentaries. Even if you like the controversial style, you know it's a rare one that's truly hilarious and not just painfully awkward.

So when a movie tries to do all this at once - be funny, be scary, be effectively emotional - and a mockumentary, no less? It's playing on hard mode. Fortunately, What We Do In The Shadows with its misfit vampires trying to make it in the modern day not only accepts these challenges, but beats them all with flying colors.

If you caught my countdown of 15 Funniest Dark Comedies, you might remember WWDITS from spot #8 - and it doesn't take long to see why.

So consider this a long-overdue review/love letter to a bright spot in a sea of Hollywood blockbusters and gritty reboots - and a heads-up to watch for its upcoming #sequel and #miniseries spinoff.

WWDITS Official Trailer

Part of why I wanted to see it, aside from seeing enthusiastic recommendations and promisingly-funny snippets, was to see how it could possibly do everything it does so well. And it does. It's truly hilarious, scary in parts thanks to masterful suspense-building, and has a few genuinely cathartic drama moments - often all at the same time. And yes, like Shaun of the Dead and its loving-lampshading zombie-flick homage, WWDITS spoofs the hell out of vampire movies and their conventions, while being a really good one in itself.

On Virgin Blood:

Deacon (middle): I think we drink virgin blood because it sounds cool.

Vladislav (left): I think of it like this. If you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had f*cked it.

The movie's dramatic climax is an incredibly well-crafted suspense-build involving some werewolves who don't quite manage to resist the full moon - but the intense/funny blend gets established early on, in a chase scene that's a standout for both comedy and adrenaline.

Human-For-Now Nick spends an increasingly unsettling dinner at the vampire house (involving "bisgetti" worms, right out of vamp classic The Lost Boys). Finally, he attempts to escape this strange place and its "freaky" occupants... remarkably calmly at first. It seems more like he's interrupted a vaguely embarrassing private moment rather than seeing a woman being drained of blood - until one of the vampires shows up in his backpack. That kicks it into high gear, and the following sequence has such good comedic and horrific timing that you might be laughing and gasping in jump-scare surprise at the same time.

Highlight of a highlight scene: on the way out, Nick runs into Vladislav, attempting a black cat transformation, and just Nopes out of there. (Vladislav can never get the faces right.)

Then there's Deacon's never-introduced, never-mentioned-again dance solo, which his friends watch, kicking back with some red liquid that probably isn't wine.

Opening Credits: You're Dead, You're Dead, You're Dead...

Seriously, if I had to pick a favorite part, I'm not sure if I could. It's all great and all leaves me wanting more.

So it's a good thing a sequel, We're Wolves, is planned for 2018. From Entertainment Weekly:

[Director/Writer/WWDIS star Taika Waititi] revealed that We’re Wolves will concern a power battle between lycanthropes played by What We Do in the Shadows stars Rhys Darby and Stuart Rutherford. “The same werewolf actors would come back,” said Waititi. ”It would basically be Rhys and Stu vying for position as the alpha male in the werewolf gang.”

"We're Werewolves, Not Swearwolves!"

And that’s not all. As well as returning to the big screen, WWDITS is getting a 6-episode miniseries spinoff later this year, Paranormal Event Response Unit. Headed by WWDITS writers/directors/co-creators Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, the show stars two police officers, named Mike and Karen, who specialize in dealing with supernatural phenomenon.”

Sharp-eared/eyed viewers will remember these two as the police officers called in to investigate some unfortunate Paranormal Events involving hellish screeches, fiery vampire-combustion, and a vampire hunter's equally messy demise. The pair fail to notice the in-progress levitating vampire fight or anything else amiss - thanks, hypnotic powers! - but have several friendly reminders about home safety codes. They'll probably see a lot more chilling and hilarious sights in the upcoming miniseries. That goes for the audience as well.

Nothing to see here. Everything's fine.

Whether Mike and Karen's return means we’ll see any more old friends, we’re not sure yet - but we’re very excited for more. PERU is planned for release in 2017.

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