Welcome back, everyone! In last week’s recap, I predicted that Guillermo would eventually join his new friends on a vampire hunt. And it looks like they’re already making progress on that front much quicker than I anticipated.
Catch up with “What We Do in the Shadows” season two with recaps of episode one, two and three. Just a forewarning that everything from here on out is loaded with *SPOILERS*, so read at your own risk!
“The Curse” (dir. Liza Johnson)
Keeping with his usual brand of being behind the times, Nandor (Kayvan Novak) figures this is the perfect time to clear out a decade’s worth of ‘electronic letters’ from his Hotmail account. I’m honestly surprised it wasn’t AOL. The defeated look on Guillermo’s (Harvey Guillén) face is commonplace for anyone who’s had to introduce any form of technology to a parent and/or grandparent. We’ve all been there.
When Nandor finally logs into his Hotmail, he gets excited about two whole messages waiting for him. The first is an invitation to a 2009 advanced screening of “The Blind Side,” and the second is a chain email that Nandor believes has actually cursed him for having read it. If a decades-old spam tells you to forward it to 10 people or else you’ll be cursed and killed by Bloody Mary, it’s probably legitimate. I mean, they said it’s not a joke.
Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Laszlo (Matt Berry) also find themselves ‘cursed’ alongside Nandor for having read past a certain paragraph in the email. Matt Berry pulls off the best joke of the night with his response to getting an email address at the email address shop: “No, I’m guessing that’ll be closed this time of night.” If no one else, then at least Timmy from Circuit City will be one of their lucky email ‘curse’ recipients.
While the trio sort themselves out with their newfound online curse, Guillermo returns to the amateur vampire hunter group, as they welcome him back with open arms. It turns out they’re already past the training phase (or so they think) and believe they’re fully equipped to take part in their first hunt, rendering Guillermo’s internal takedown that much more difficult. If Guillermo wasn’t already stressed, his composure nearly cracks when it appears that the intended target appears to be the very home he’s been serving, complete with topiaries on the front lawn. No amount of stalling on his part can delay the inevitable. Time to go slay some suckers in Derek’s mom’s van, which absolutely must be back by the next morning.
As Guillermo sits nervously in the van, he leaves a vaguely threatening warning through voicemail that Nandor, Laszlo and Nadja perceive as the curse manifesting itself. They turn to Colin (Mark Proksch) because if anyone knows about the complex inner workings of technology, it’s the energy-draining vampire. Colin even seems entertained by the idea of ‘cursing’ other people at work.
Guillermo finds himself extremely relieved when the house they arrive at does not belong to the trio. GoPros strapped to their foreheads, the vampire hunters are just as determined to waltz in and slay some potential bloodsuckers. It appears that no one’s home as they roam the darkened hallways, illuminating the framed photographs on the walls. These seemingly innocuous photos include twin girls, individual self-portraits and a group shot of everyone in “It’s A Family Thing” tees. The manor is very much shrouded in a ‘70s aesthetic that makes more sense when s*** hits the fan.
It’s at the point when Guillermo and Shanice (Veronika Slowikowska) reach the twins’ bedroom, the rest of the group having split off, that this episode gets unexpectedly tense as there are, indeed, vampires living here. The jittery effect of the “Village of the Damned”-inspired twins shuffling to the door, unbeknownst to them, actually gave me chills. The remainder of the episode, alternating between the in-universe camera crew and the found footage-esque GoPro video, is an all-out haunted house free-for-all with the ‘70s vampires converging on the amateur hunters like a buffet.
Guillermo barely escapes from the manor before rushing back in to save his new friends. I’m curious to see whom his selfless loyalty means more to later this season. Doing what he, unfortunately, does best, the familiar doormat proceeds to save most of the hunters — no Derek (Chris Sandiford) though — and add more vampires to his rapidly accelerating body count. And, channeling his inner Star-Lord, Guillermo makes his grand exit falling backwards through a second-story window while flipping the bird, the camera crew following suit. Based on their luck, they ought to take the same precautions as the film’s crew and invest in some cross necklaces for their own protection.
As Guillermo arrives home, it’s made clear that the frightened trio would be sitting ducks had the hunters arrived at their doorstep. Getting enough email addresses from Colin, the ‘curse’ is lifted. Nandor, however, asks Guillermo to sit by his side until he falls asleep, fearful of being murdered in his slumber. It’s easily the most vulnerable we’ve seen Nandor as of yet, and it’ll be interesting to see how long Guillermo keeps up the facade.
I loved everything involving Guillermo and the vampire hunters, but found the chain email curse didn’t lead to much of a satisfying conclusion. The vampire trio are still charming, as always, yet the punchline to their predicament didn’t quite stick the landing.
- I can’t tell you how much I cackled at Nandor’s regretful little “oops” after finding the surrender letter long after its usefulness.
- Tide To-Go pens: washes the blood stains right off
- Nandor received an email from Fandango which indicates he went to the movies, and I desperately need to know what he saw.
- Nandor has NO love for “Practical Magic.”
- I love how Guillermo’s initial weapon is a cross made out of large popsicle sticks.
- The gif below might be my favorite Guillermo moment yet.
You can catch “What We Do in the Shadows” on Wednesday nights at 10/9c on FX. And you’ll find weekly recaps right here on Shuffle Online following each episode. Until then bloodsuckers, sleep tight in your musty coffins, and cross your fingers Guillermo isn’t waiting outside with a freshly carved stake.
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Featured image credit: FX Networks
Matt graduated from Keene State College in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Critical Film Studies. A few of his favorite films include “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Army of Darkness,” “Before Sunrise” and “Certain Women.” Having already contributed to Bloody Disgusting, ELF Magazine and The Simple Cinephile, Matt aspires to expand and continue writing with various outlets. If there’s any chance to talk about horror films and/or Twin Peaks, he’ll very much jump at the opportunity.