Question…if you had the chance to become a vampire, would you take it? An age old question stemming from many, wait, no, a rather substantial amount of vampire films throughout the history of horror movies. I think it really became prominent with the release of the cult classic The Lost Boys. I am still a little undecided on my own answer. I mean it would be cool to have super strength and never get sick but living forever might become sort of boring. You get see everyone you care about die around you and when the apocalypse happens, you get to be super strong all by yourself. Plus, you would need a rather lush dental plan and being African American myself, I don’t think the pale look would suit me very well. Michael and Peter Spierig take the vampire craze to a rather new level with Daybreakers.
Ok, imagine a society, actually not just a society but an entire world with a majority population of the undead. No, not zombies, their cousins the vampires. They are so great in number, humans are scarce and on the endangered species list. Any humans that aren’t already dead or turned into a vamp is captured, kept alive, and farmed for their blood. Obviously, if you have watched even five minutes of any vampire sponsored piece of entertainment, then you know what they need to survive. Blood, any kind of blood might do just to sustain them, but human blood is like gold or platinum or better yet double uranium, son. But you see, in this world, the blood is running out, and at a pretty rapid pace. Vampire doctors and scientists, one in particular named Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke), are working frantically to try to come up with a solution.
Though some hopes are high, during this time that takes place in the year 2019, for a successful answer to this problem, many are still very doubtful and frightened at the thought of what will happen to them. You see, if vampires go too long without the consumption of human blood, they begin to devolve into bat-like creatures whom they call subsiders. Violent and without any basic intelligence, they could also be called “vampire-zombies” and serve as another threat to their existence. Dalton, who never wanted to become immortal in the first place (his brother turned him to cure him of a fatal sickness), instead wants to seek out a cure and bring humanity completely back to life. He teams up with a group of refugee humans led by Lionel “Elvis” Cormac (Willem Dafoe) who obviously want the same thing to try to make this feat a reality.
The best thing about this film was the concept of having a vampire society. It’s something new and rather creative that other vampire films haven’t really touched on before. Instead of fighting wars with other countries, the Earth’s military is used to hunt down any remaining humans to re-garnish their precious declining blood supply. The streets are empty during the day and citizens travel to and from by way of underground transportation. Having said that, the second best entity about this film was the vampire society itself. Cars with pitch black tinted windows and cameras allow vampires to drive during the day and protect themselves from the sun. There’s a daylight warning that alerts citizens how long before the sun comes up. Anything that might hurt vampires has apparently been accounted for.
With not much action, assuming trying to get the audience to pay more attention to the movie plotline, the story has its stalling points but isn’t a complete waste. That was something I was a little afraid of during some points of the film where it seemed to get somewhat uninteresting. But as the climax builds and is then finally revealed, it kind of hits you like a big “Oh!,… well duh!” Some might appreciate it and others, well, simply will not. It’s one of those hit or miss curveballs in a script that not everyone will see as a base hit, but die hard vampire flick fans might view as a home run.
Not Ethan Hawke’s best work, I think that is still yet to come (even though he was kind of cool in Brooklyn’s Finest), but a pretty decent job overall for a new spin on the vampire culture. I give Daybreakers “3.5 reasons why u shouldn’t ever become a vampire out of 5”.
“Living in a world where vampires are the dominant species is about as safe as bare backing a 5 dollar whore.”