A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Underneath the humor and vampire-related gore, the movie makes a case for friendship and connection. Even though these are monsters, they get lonely, too, and find that things work better with cooperation and understanding.
Positive Role Models
The characters are likable, but they're too silly to be real role models.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of bloody vampire-related gore, but it's intended to be comic. A bit jugular vein sprays blood. Bloody messes. A vampire burns in sunlight. A vampire hunter is crushed and his head twisted backward. Floor covered with bones and other remains. Some jump-shocks. Unsettling vampire makeup. Views of a torture chamber. Images of old paintings depicting violence. Fighting. A character turning into a vampire has a bloody neck wound and bleeding eyes. A character vomits blood. Werewolves tear a man to pieces, though mostly off screen and through shaky footage. An arrow in the leg.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Strong innuendo; some flirting. Quick shot of a man in an "orgy" with three women. Images of old paintings depicting naked people and sex, as well as an image of a penis. A naked man is shown, with his penis pixilated out. The suggestion of a vampire masturbating in his coffin (the lid moves up and down).
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Relatively infrequent strong language includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," "a--hole," "penis," "hell," "bitch," and "ass." Words are often said quickly and in thick accents, so they're not always intelligible.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some scenes in nightclubs show characters drinking socially. Vampires occasionally appear to be drinking liquor from glasses, although it could be blood.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that What We Do in the Shadows is a horror comedy about vampires, shot in a fake-documentary style. It's from the New Zealand comedians behind Flight of the Conchords, so FOTC fans will definitely be interested. It's mostly intended to be funny, but there's still a lot of blood and gore, including a spurting jugular vein and huge bloody messes, as well as fighting and some scary images. Images meant to look like old paintings depict some violence and sex, and there's a brief image of an "orgy" (a vampire with three women on a bed), a shot of a naked man with his penis pixilated out, and some strong innuendo. Language includes a few uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and more. Some scenes take place in nightclubs or bars, and there's some background drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.