What We Do in the Shadows: Interviews with some Vampires (2005)

This is the original short film from which the feature film What We Do in the Shadows has evolved.

The short film has only five characters, all of whom return in the feature film, and all of them are played by the same actor in both the short and the feature. These are Deacon, Viago, Vladislav, Nick and Stu (even though Stu is barely in this short film and does neither do nor say anything). The only change in the line-up is the fact that Vladislav has been re-named for the feature, with his original name “Vulvus” being dropped. As far as the living arrangements are concerned, the main difference is that the character of Petyr does not exist in the short.

Like the feature film, the short is a mockumentary and it is constructed in a similar way by having a lot of direct-to-camera interviews with single characters and some group shots/discussions around the kitchen table. It is obvious that almost every line here is improvised, even more so than in the feature film. The interview/documentary style is convincing and is kept steady throughout. The only scenes outside of the vampires’ home are at a night out downtown, which are similar in essence to the downtown scenes in the feature film.

To me it feels that with 27 minutes the short film is a bit too long for its own good. Improvisation leads to a slow pace and a meandering dialogue, coupled with an apparent unwillingness to edit more rigorously.

What We Do in the Shadows: Interviews with some Vampires still is rather enjoyable, and of course an interesting piece of work for fans of the feature film who might like to see how the idea has evolved.

My Rating: 6.0 to 6.5 out of 10.

 

Addendum:

I said the short film feels a bit slow and meandering. That is the same problem I had with the feature film. But originally I had assumed that the slow pace there may have been down to the fact that they stretched the contents of the original short for the feature film and padded it out with unnecessary add-ons. But now I feel that this is not entirely the case. The pacing problem was already there in the short film. And while I believe that some additions made to the original core premise for the feature film (like the masquerade ball, the zombies, the witches, etc.) are a distraction rather than an asset, there are other additions (especially the characters of Petyr and Jackie) that work very well and help to create a richer environment and enhance the original premise and cast instead of overshadowing them or distracting from them.

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