Parents' Guide to

What We Do in the Shadows

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Quirky vampire mockumentary has lots of blood.

Movie R 2015 86 minutes
What We Do in the Shadows Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 9+

Flight of the concords humour with vampires

I love mocumentaries and this was no different. The dry, kiwi-style humour is like FOTC or anything else by Taika Waititi. Watched with my 9 and 11 yo daughters They loved it, the 9yo especially, and there was nothing in there that made me regret her seeing it so my rating sits at a 9-and-up. Would watch again. Momentary parental scares (spoilers): - When meeting the vampires for the first time, there's about a 1 second snippet showing Vladislav in his room in bed with maybe three or four women. Next second the room is changed and he's at the door in a dressing gown - Peter the old vampire has a scary look, Nosferatu-style. - There are maybe three or four killings of victims done in a slapstick style with blood spurting out of necks like a fire-hose. One similar scene where Nick the vampire vomits a firehose of blood. Done in a funny ott way. We were in hysterics. Your family may vary. - There is a jump scare where nick makes a face at a cashier. Maybe check this out on youtube and watch it with your kids first to prep if these sorts of sudden-scary-face moments affect them. - There's a grainy scene where werewolves attack, a cameraman is dragged away, and it's implied that a much-loved character gets mauled. It all works out in the end, you might want to mention that to the kids at the time. - When he's feeling low, Vladislav retreats to his torture room. No torture shown or specified, but loosly implied. A scene has a naked man in chains chained up in there. - Has elements of the old-boys-club and gender ineq that you might want to talk through or prep for esp w daughters. Jackie is a woman familiar (vampire servant) who says a swear-laden piece about how she's cleaning up after male vampires. 9yo's most ick scene: the one where Nick vomits a fire-hose of blood. I reckon search that one and other WWDiTS blood-spurt scenes up on youtube as a measure of whether this too old for your kids. My Fav scene: anything with the werewolves. Look up "Werewolves not swearwolves" Overall, we all loved this film. Dry, but just very funny.
age 16+

But how do vampires divvy up chores?

A tone perfect mockumentary whose jokes nail the nuance, the silly, the absurd, and the smart in making a present-day vampire film. The film is like a reflection back at us on all of the vampire tropes and films that have propagated these absurd ideas and put it in the forefront for us to view them side by side. Clement and Waititi are perfectly matched in this film and its gothic/comedy of errors overtones. I nearly died during the chore wheel sketch...brilliant.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (10 ):

Even though mockumentaries and vampires have both been done to death, this movie still manages some good ideas -- and a few hearty laughs. Clement is best known as half of the cult-fave duo Flight of the Conchords, and Waititi was also part of the show, working as a writer and director. They also made the comedy Eagle vs. Shark together. Now the pair teams up as co-stars, co-writers, and co-directors on WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS.

One of the funnier bits centers around the concept that vampires don't cast a reflection; the friends must draw sketches of one another as they get dressed up for a night on the town to make sure they look sharp. At other times, they play games with the mirror, making objects float in front of it. These little side jokes, as well as behaviors and relationships, are often funnier and more interesting than the movie's main plot twists -- as well as the "mockumentary" stuff -- but there are enough of them in the movie's loose structure that it never gets dull.

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