“It’s never been about a cure. It’s about repeat business. Besides… what’s to cure?”
The 2009 vampire action film Daybreakers poses an interesting scenario in which a plague has covered the earth, and vampires are now the dominant race. The only problem, is with so few humans, the blood supply needed for survival is diminishing.
Written and directed by The Spierig Brothers, Daybreakers follows Ethan Hawke as Ed Dalton. A vampire scientist determined to find the formula for synthetic blood, enabling Vampires and Humans to co-exist. Continually frustrated in his attempts, Ed randomly encounters some humans, and develops a trust with them, lead by Willem Defoe. Ed learns that Defoe’s character Elvis was once a vampire and two of them work together to recreate the phenomenon that lead to that change. Sam Neill stars as the evil corporate overload of the facility Ed works in and is determined to act like a typical pharmaceutical company and provide just enough to ensure repeat business.
The interesting aspect of yet another vampire film is the way that the traditional view of vampires is turned on its head. Instead of the greedy, lustful vampire, we get a world where everyone is a vampire and they’ve been forced to live normal lives. I enjoyed the blood in coffee, the complaints about how high a percentage of blood was in certain drinks and food, and how these vampires have been forced to get jobs. What’s also interesting is how the world of vampires has been split. There are those vampires that either can not afford to buy the rare and expensive blood. Instead of dying out, these vampires mutate into winged creatures that do appear as a mix of a bat and a human. Another problem the normal vampires have is the people who attempt to feed on themselves or other vampires. This also causes the mutation and it’s an interesting way to show class structure, and how the rich will always look down upon the poor, no matter the circumstances. I found myself pleasantly surprised by this film. While it’s certainly not the material for Oscar contention by any means, it’s a fun film and executes what it sets out for.