Review – Daybreakers

10 01 2010

Vampire movies are at a crossroads.  Hollywood can either produce shiny vampire romances or go the old school route.  Sadly since the Twilight series is making a chunk of change, the latter seems to be the most likely path.  But somehow we got Daybreakers to tide over horror fans while our favorite bloodsuckers are dipped in glitter and hugged by the Hot Topic crowd.

The movie takes place roughly a decade from now.  A virus has turned most of the population into vampires and the remaining humans are now being hunted down.  These humans are then farmed for their blood to feed the population, but they are now running out.  Perhaps like certain things we pump out of the ground to make our cars go.  Yes, Daybreakers is horror with a message.  Something that seems to have died recently despite the efforts of George A Romero.  The message isn’t rubbed in your face, but it is there.

Anyways the vampires need blood to survive and if they go off the stuff long enough, they mutate into some sort of human/bat hybrid thing.  So a company run by Charles Bromley (Sam Neill, who resembles a snake in a suit) is searching for a blood substitute.  If you’ve seen True Blood, think of the drink in it.  Edward (Ethan Hawke) is a scientist searching to develop this substance.  He is something of an emo vampire (a term I stole from io9), he doesn’t drink human blood and hates being a vampire.  One night, he encounters some humans.  He helps them escape and they later come to him for help after learning he is a scientist.  It turns out a vampire nicknamed Elvis (Willem Dafoe) has somehow become human again.  Working together, they find the cure.  They attempted to offer it to his boss, but he rather sell the fake blood and keep the real stuff for the high paying customers.

The movie seems to hint at a sequel, but it works on its own well enough.  The attempt at world building is pretty good.  The vampire population has built underground walkways and tubes between buildings for moving around during the day.  Cars have screens that allow the driver to drive by day, using a monitor to see.  Also due to vampires not having reflections, they use cameras and monitors as a replacement for mirrors.  There is some stuff going on with the blood supply running low and the population revolting against it.  As well as them dealing with the mutated vampires, which are becoming a major problem for them.  I also liked that chain smoking has returned to the levels of the 1950s, thanks to vampires no longer having to worry about lung cancer.  Teen suicide is still a problem, because people decided to turn their children into vampires, trapping them at that age.  The opening scene shows a young girl punching her own ticket with the sun because she can no longer stand staying a child anymore.

The gore is pretty good, the vampires explode like a propane tank wrapped with blood and meat.  There are also a few decapitations, a dismemberment, and some burning vampires.

It isn’t a perfect movie, but enjoyable and a treat for those of us tired of Twilight and its bastardization of vampires.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: