What We Do In The Shadows (Blu-ray Review)

what we doWhat We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary film about a group of vampires living together as roommates. It has been made in the vain of something like Christopher Guest’s This Is Spinal Tap or Best in Show. The film was written and directed by New Zealanders Jermaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame) and Taika Waititi, who also both star in the film. The film was partially made possible by crowdfunding and thankfully it scored well with all who saw it. Now you can check it out too, as it has a packed Blu-ray to check out.




what we do in the shadows 4

This is the kind of film that really does not rely on too much plot. Instead, we follow the misadventures of some key vampire characters. Viago (Waititi) is a 317-year old vampire and a renaissance dandy. Vladislav (Clement) is an 862-year-old vampire modeled after Gary Oldman’s look in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) is a 183 years-old vampire with the attitude Anne Rice’s Lestat character, though a lot more neurotic. Then there is Petyr (Ben Fransham), an 8,000 year-old vampire, who closely resembles Count Orlok from Nosferatu.

These characters all share a house together in New Zealand, with various problems, like all roommates have. They spend time luring humans to their home and drinking their blood, along with fighting over who is supposed to be doing the dishes. The concept is hilarious and seeing them actually deal with the kind of issues you’d find in a standard roommate-themed reality show makes it even better.

What We Do in the Shadows has some sense of direction, which is welcome. A new roommate, Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) is eventually introduced and his problematic antics have some drastic results. It also allows the vampires to befriend Nick’s best friend Stu (Stu Rutherford), who introduces the gang to some modern technologies like the internet. There is also a vampire masquerade ball that serves as a source of great drama for Vlad.

what we do in the shadows 9

There is said to have been over 100 hours of footage was shot of all these guys performing as these characters. The film is only a brief 85 minutes, but you can tell a lot of fun was had with these guys experimenting with ideas that sometimes go nowhere and other times lead to some of the best moments that make it into the film. It is the nature of these mockumentary style films. The humor may seem very dry for some, but I was very much enjoying the way this film went about delivering on the comedy.

For a low budget, the production is fairly impressive as well. What We Do in the Shadows has some clever ways to portray vampires in their element, given how we see these characters flying about, along with some neat camera tricks utilized to allow for the characters to teleport in and out of scenes or not have mirror reflections in some instances. There are old school techniques put to use, sure, but given the nature and tone of this film, it works to its advantage.

I really enjoyed this film. It blends the concept of vampires with a comedy format that has been a proven success many times in the past. The humor certainly fits and there are some great gags, a lot of fun dialogue, and a dedication to the characters that I admired. What We Do in the Shadows is easily one of the year’s best comedies and needs to be seen by many.



what we do in the shadows 1

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: For a low-budget mockumentary (with admittedly solid special effects), What We Do in the Shadows looks pretty great on Blu-ray. There is a lot of great detail to be found in the costume design and the main setting of the film. There is a clear level of presentation that serves a film of this nature quite well.

Depth: Given the filmmaking style, depth is about as good as it can be.

Black Levels: Black levels are suitably deep and inky, which is helpful for a film about a bunch of vampires.

Color Reproduction: Colors come through quite strong with enough pop in the red blood in particular.

Flesh Tones: There is a great amount of detail in the facial textures and character design. The makeup does a fine job of helping to sell these characters, which is reflected quite well in what we see of some of the more visually interesting vampires.

Noise/Artifacts: Some minor hiccups here and there due to the nature of the film, but almost completely clean otherwise.



what we do in the shadows 6

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English, English SDH

Dynamics: The film’s lossless soundtrack does everything it needs to really convey the surprisingly complicated sound design. The outdoor and indoor scenes are given proper justice in this audio track, which is a great way to aid such a terrifically made film.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel gets enough of a workout thanks to the film’s soundtrack and some key sequences involving vampire action, which is somewhat humorous, given the tone of the film.

Surround Sound Presentation: While the film is dialogue-centric, the balance of the audio is handled quite well. The ambient noises, music, and other elements all feel properly mixed.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is center-focused, loud and clear throughout.



what we do in the shadows 10

The viewer pretty much gets all they want as far as learning more about the making of this film and getting to see additional content.

Features Include:

  • Audio Commentary By Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi – Not the greatest commentary track, given the humor that these two should be able to bring to the proceedings, but still interesting.
  • Behind the Shadows (HD, 17:36) – A look at the making of the film via raw footage from the set.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD)
  • Video Extras (HD) – A number of outtakes and random scenes featuring the actors in character.
  • Interviews (HD) – Interviews with all the main cast members from the film.
  • Promo Videos (HD) – Some ads for the film featuring the different characters.
  • Poster Gallery (HD)


what we do in the shadows 5

What We Do In The Shadows is a film that needs to be seen immediately by comedy fans and those looking for a different take on the vampire film. It is very well done, very funny and the kind of film you need to support. The Blu-ray’s presentation is quite solid as well, with enough special features to satisfy many. An all-around great Blu-ray to check out.

Order Your Copy Here:

what we do


Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

Comments are currently closed.