What We Do in the Shadows Creators Break Down the Vampire Rules

If you want to be a vampire, you've got to follow the rules. At least, that's the case in Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's What We Do in the Shadows, an FX series spinning out of the film of the same name. The vampire mockumenatry masterminds were very particular about their characters following "the rules."

"If they eat human food, they get sick. But leeches they can chew on or suck on to get the blood out, but the actual leech meat they can't. Jemaine is very particular," executive producer Paul Simms explained during a set visit attended by CBR.

"They burst into flame in sunlight. They're not like uncomfortable by it," added writer Stefanie Robinson. "You know how in some vampire movies, they're just sort of frightened by it."

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"No, they actually will burst into flames," Simms agreed. "The one that I think has impacted the show the most in a frustrating way is the idea that vampires need to be invited in somewhere, because we're always writing scenes like, 'Okay, then they go into the person's house' and Jemaine is like, 'Well, hold it. They need to be invited into the house.' I think he refers to it as The Lost Boys rules, doesn't he? His general rule set is based on the ones established in The Lost Boys."

"I didn't create them!" Clement said. "They've mostly stayed the same from the movie. I mean, all the rules have, but they've got some other powers, these ones, that we didn't see in the movie. We go by basic 70s, 80s vampire movie rules, with a bit of 30s. They can turn into bats. They can't go in the sun. They don't sparkle in the sun. They die. What else? You have to be invited in. In a lot of literature, vampires have to be invited in to private property, but this is a documentary, so these are the actual rules. They have to be invited into any kind of building."

As to why it was so important to follow these rules, he continued, "It's good to have limitations. It makes it harder for them. Because vampires have so many powers, they also have to have weaknesses."

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