What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

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So as you can probably tell with me having this blog, I’m a movie nerd.  I like to see what movies are coming out soon and watch various trailers etc.  That’s how I came across this film…Sadly it never came to a cinema near me so I didn’t catch it until it came out on DVD (yes, I still buy those sometimes).

It’s an interesting film, something that I’ve not seen before.  It’s basically a ‘mockumentary’ about the life of modern day vampires and the society of ‘supernatural’ beings. It’s from the creators of Flight of the Conchords, so that gives you a sense of the style of humor in this film, these guys know exactly how to do misfit humor well. 

We have a camera crew that have been granted access into the lives of four vampires that all share a house together in the 21st Century.  The four vampires are all unique characters, firstly you have Viago played by Taika Waititi who is very chatty and happy to tell you everything about himself and the others, he’s the main narrator really. Then we have Vladislav played by Jemaine Clement and Deacon played by Jonny Brugh who are both brooding, grumpy and think they’re cooler than they are.. Finally we have Petyr played by Ben Fransham who is clearly the oldest of the bunch as he can’t even take a more human form and just lives in the basement minding his own business.  As you can imagine these guys don’t always get along and it’s their situation of being vampires in the modern age that’s brought them together, clearly just not wanting to be alone.

Things take an interesting turn when one of the group accidentally turns a guy called Nick into a vampire.  Nick is pretty annoying but his best friend Stu is very popular with the group even though he’s human and teaches them how to use modern technology which results in some very funny scenes in the film. The vampires are able to control peoples minds, a useful trick when they make mistakes and need to resolve things. Nick doesn’t really take to being a vampire and the others take it upon themselves to try and help him even though they don’t really like the guy.

There’s no major use of digital effects as such in this film, it relies mainly on makeup and just good humor.

The casting is great, no one really well known as such but the cast work well with one another, clearly most of them have done projects together before.

Overall this film is an interesting watch, if you aren’t much for the Flight of the Conchords’ humor then don’t bother with this but if you’re a fan of that you’ll love this film.  I personally enjoyed it, parts are really funny but I can understand it wouldn’t be for everyone.

Perfect Popcorn Score – What We Do In The Shadows get’s a seven from me, some really funny scenes and a good idea for a film but it’s one you have to be in the mood to watch  – 7/10.

 

The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

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The problem we have with horror movies these days is that we’ve seen everything, I mean I really do feel for the horror writers of today because it must be so difficult to come up with something remotely originally, story wise.  This film is something we’ve not seen before though, it’s a great horror/comedy mix but, I’d expect nothing less from the legend that is Joss Whedon.

So we have five twenty-somethings in a cabin in the woods. Oh, I’m sorry… Have you seen this before? Yes, OK but did I also mention that they’re being watched by an organisation that’s led them to this cabin and to complete a ritual?  You first see the characters and think, ah alright you’ve got your jock, blonde ‘bimbo’, stoner, nerdy girl, jocks ‘normal’ best friend. However, throughout this film you learn that the characters are being manipulated to appear this way, they’re all (well apart from MartyMarty is as he seems, a stoner) actually intelligent students.

This film is just great, there’s some dark humor and I love it, the guys behind the scenes understand their role and just want to ‘get the job done’ and you can’t help but like them even if they are trying to kill the students in the cabin. There’s a few twists in this film and they just add to the enjoyment.  I really liked the basement scene because you have a character, Marty saying exactly what you’re saying when you’re at home watching, ‘don’t read the latin!’  Of course no one listens to the stoner (or the audience) and unleashes the family of redneck zombies.

The effects are great, both digitally and FX Makeup wise for all the various creatures that appear. It’s nice to see a film that doesn’t rely on just CGI alone.

The cast in this film is decent, my one issue is with Kristen Connolly who plays Dana she just wasn’t likable as a lead role which is a shame, I mean she wasn’t terrible but I could think of better actresses for this part.  I don’t have any problems with the rest of the cast though, Fran Kranz is perfect as Marty the stoner and one of my favorite characters is this movie. Personal shout outs to Amy Acker and Tom Lenk, yes I’m a Buffy/Angel fan and was so happy to see these two in this film!

Overall this film is just fun to watch, like I said there’s a few twists and it’s an interesting story plot which is hard to find these days.  If you’re not into gore with clever humor this film isn’t for you, it’s not creepy scary but it’s a good film to see.

Perfect Popcorn Score – The Cabin in the Woods gets an eight from me, great story, great gore and laughs but the cast could have been better  – 8/10.