A Light-Hearted Film About Vampires

This month I’ve talked about an anime so scarily bad that it made me laugh and a manga so eerily creepy that it sent shivers down my spine, so I’d like to take a step away from anime and manga to talk about a slightly lesser discussed medium on KawaiiPaperPandas… live-action film. Yes, that’s right people, there are forms of entertainment out there with real people acting in it on screen (I know, crazy right?).

I’ve always been a bit of a film lover, but despite this there are two genres I’ve never been too bothered about: horror and comedy. I’ve mentioned that I haven’t seen a lot of horror in pretty much all my posts but I’ve not talked a lot about comedy. A lot of the comedy films we get in the UK are American Hollywood comedies, and whilst some are actually quite funny, I’ve grown out of the sense of humour they present. There are some British comedies I love, like the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the DeadHot Fuzz, and The World’s End), but I was quite dissatisified with the genre as a whole.

And then I discovered Taika Waititi.


Taika Waititi is a filmmaker, actor, and comedian hailing from New Zealand, his most famous film being Thor: Ragnarok (he also played Korg, everyone’s favourite rock man). However, it’s October and we’re talking spooky stuff, so as much as I’d like to talk about Thor: Ragnarok or Hunt for the Wilderpeople, I’ll be talking about his comedy mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows which was born from the concept of ancient vampires living in a flat together in 2014 New Zealand.

It’s a bit of a stretch to refer to the film as horror, but it takes stereotypical horrifying beasts and villains such as vampires, werewolves, and zombies, and shows them in a new, interesting light.


The film shows the vampires dealing with mundanities such as arguing over washing dishes, going to social events, and trying to fit in with current fashion, as well as facing issues liking finding thralls to do work, finding virgins to drink the blood of, and avoiding vampire hunters. This all from the point of view of a camera crew that have been given special permission to film these events without being eaten by the vampires the story follows. Does this film sound batshit crazy? Yes. Is it fucking brilliant? Absolutely.

My favourite character is definitely Stu; a regular, awkward, unassuming guy that just chills with the vampires for no real reason other than they like having him around. He doesn’t really do or say much, but this just adds to the complete absurdity that the film already presents and it’s a refreshing experience in this age of constant shitty Hollywood comedies being churned out.

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, 2014. ©The Orchard/Courtesy Everett Collection
That’s best boy, Stu, in the middle

If you want a new, interesting, film to watch this Halloween, I’d thoroughly recommend this film in between your spooky and scary films, especially if you’ve seen any other of Waititi’s films and enjoyed them.


What’s your favourite horror/comedy film? What We Do in the Shadows has recently had an American TV series released and has been renewed for a 2nd season. I’ve been sceptical to watch it for the reasons stated above, but it does have Matt Berry in it which always helps.



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