3rd: What We Do in The Shadows
“What We Do In The Shadows” is one of the best films to be released in 2015. This film has caused a stir in our zombie crazed society. Not since Twilight has a vampire film been so popular. (The only difference is Twilight sucked hard)
Strictly speaking, “What We Do in the Shadows” is another horror pseudo-documentary (at first sight), but its sense of humor and naughty execution bring it closer to the style of sitcoms such as “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”, and the final result is an unusual film with likable characters, sharp humor and very appropriate observations about the clichés of horror cinema.
Thanks to that ingenious combination of elements, “What We Do in the Shadows” feels very different to the usual “found footage” films. The hand-held camera technique adapts itself quite well to the screenplay, and there is no need to make any traps to follow the characters, even during the most “extreme” moments of paranormal activity; and when the camera can’t be present, we always have the alternative of the “recreations”.
It embraces all of the Vampire “stereotypes” and puts them to funny use. We see some burnt to a crisp when exposed to daylight, fights between two as bats, and a handful of great lines remarking on their age.
It brings Vampires into the modern world with such grace and reality it feels utterly real. This is in large part due to it’s documentary style. We see camera men slaughtered by creatures and all forefront characters getting face time via interviews.
With such a small film like this, usually the special effects are sub par. And for the most part you give them leeway for the budget they are working with. This is not the case with “What We Do In The Shadows”.
The effects have a Chris Nolan feel to them. It opts to go either practical or CGI. And it works so incredibly well. There is no point in the film were one will be taken out by an awful effect. “What We Do In The Shadows” transcends the average film with it’s great cast and extremely witty humor and blazes it’s path to being an instant classic.
2nd: Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead is not your typical zombie movie. Sure, there’s lots of blood and gore, flesh eating zombies aplenty, and F-bombs beyond counting. And like most zombie flicks, this one follows an ever shrinking band of civilians as they try to survive against the undead hordes.
But unlike the “Dawn of the Dead”, “Shaun of the Dead” is smart, witty, and absolutely hilarious. For those dazed by grim, near identical shoot-em-ups with about as much intelligence as the monsters they portray, Shaun of the Dead is a breath of fresh air.
The Funny Plot
At first, it actually seems like a typical slacker comedy. Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a thoroughly average Londoner who shares a flat with his friends from high school, works the day shift at the local electronics store, has issues with his stepfather, and is in a rut with his girlfriend, who dumps him after he screws up their anniversary.
In short, his life sucks. At this point the last thing he needs is hordes of mindless undead knocking at his door. But when the zombie apocalypse descends on England, it just might be his chance to show he’s not a complete loser after all.
Shaun of the Dead starts off strong, delivering hilarious comedy. And it only gets funnier when the zombies get involved. Writers Pegg and Edger Wright manage to effortlessly lampoon the clichés and improbabilities common to all zombie films, while using over the top gore for comic effect in a manner that would do Tarantino proud.
There are few things funnier than seeing two morons throwing records and video games at a pair of glacially slow zombies, except perhaps watching them beat said zombies back to death with a cricket bat and a shovel, all the while screaming like the warriors they wish they could be.
Best Horror Comedy
The chemistry between cast members is remarkable. They bicker, argue, and get on each other’s nerves like they’ve known each other for their entire lives. More than once, it occurred to me that this movie could be considered “Night of the Living Dead” meets “the Office”.
“Shaun of the dead” isn’t for everyone. It’s violent, it’s gory, and people in it swear like sailors. But it just might be one the best horror comedy since the days of Abbot and Costello. And on some level it’s comforting to know that even during the zombie apocalypse, you mom’s still your mom, your roommate’s still an idiot, and you and your sort-of girlfriend still have lots of serious issues to discuss.
1st: Lesbian Vampire Killers
Although slaughtered by the critics who bled the film dry, Lesbian Vampire Killers is an unpretentious comedy film that pokes fun at the horror genre, especially the campy lady vampiress ones.
When Jimmy (Mathew Horne) is again dumped by his girlfriend, he and his best mate Fletch (James Corden) go on a hiking holiday in the country. At the local village they are directed to a cottage where there is free lodgings. The house also happens to have a camper van full of girls staying in the house as well.
However in this small village, the girls that turned eighteen become lesbian vampires, thanks to a curse from the lesbian vampire queen. Inevitably Jimmy and Fletch excitement to spend time with the hot girls is soon curtailed as they are turning into vampires and under attack.
The Absolute Winner
This is a post modern wind up which featured the then popular television duo of Corden and Horne. Their participation ensured enough of a budget for better production values and special effects which actually goes toe to toe with more expensive Hollywood horror films. Some of the humour is infantile but it will surely raise a laugh. There is some sassiness with the girls and blood is replaced by white goop. It’s extremely funny and the movie does not outstay its welcome.