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Casting Light on Vampires in the Shadows

Taika Waititi as Viago, aged 379 Jemaine Clement as Vladislav, aged 862 Jonathan Brugh as Deacon, aged 183 Ben Fransham as Petyr, aged 8,000

While vampires have long been seen as the embodiment of suave sophistication and raw sexual energy, the new documentary What We Do in the Shadows may very well drive a stake in the heart of these beliefs. A film crew was given unprecedented access into the private lives of a small group of these otherwise secretive creatures, revealing a startling array of insecurities, petty squabbles and difficulties in coping with the modern age.

The film follows the lives of four vampires ranging in several hundred to several thousand years of age, and reveals many startling facts about vampire culture. The eldest, Petyr spends much of his time sleeping, but the other more vigorous members of the clan Vlad, Viago and Deacon occasionally venture out into the mortal world in search of victims and a good time in general. When a new vampire named Nick joins their numbers, their lives become chaotic as they are introduced to 21st century technology, jealousy… and vampire hunters.

Their story defies description — and perhaps even logic — but it is certainly quite relevant in this age of vampires, werewolves and zombies. You would do well to familiarize yourself with their strange, and unintentionally hilarious ways.

Written by in August of 2015. Last edited March 2019.

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