What We Do in the Shadows
Written, directed by and starring Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, the uneven but uproarious mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows mines a vein of deadpan, observational goofiness that recalls previous Clement-Waititi collaborations like Eagle vs. Shark and the TV show Flight of the Conchords. Along with Jonathan Brugh and Ben Fransham, Clement and Waititi play vampire roommates trying to have fun in urban New Zealand while dealing with the realities of modern undead life (they can't get into most nightclubs because they need to be formally invited to enter) and the difficulties of shared living situations (the chore wheel hasn't moved in five years). The film excels at finding comedy in those mundane details, and although it never recaptures the comedic momentum of its opening minutes, and the mockumentary format mostly becomes a narrative crutch, there are enough big laughs to forgive a few shortcomings. D.B.