Daybreakers delivers a nice new take on all the current vampire hype by showing us what would happen if normal human beings were replaced by a vampire society. A society that, of course, needs blood to survive. The story starts roughly ten years after an epedemic sort of turned the majority of earths population into vampire like creatures. These vampires lead a pretty normal life with the exception that it’s not at day time… it’s at night. The movie has some nice takes on that. There is, of course, a military that hunts down the last remaining humans to put them into some sort of blood factory. That concept does not work forever and the movie places its story in that time period. The blood savings run out and the vampires out of time to find a replacement.
Our main character, played by Ethan Hawke, is one of the scientists who is trying to find a replacment for the real blood the vampires need. But all the testing so far always led to disastrous results. A coincidence makes our main guy find contact to one of the last human resistance groups. Soon he’s invited to help that group. These people have found out how to revert the, once human, vampires back into their human state. They just need a scientist who can sort of reverse engineer what happened to another main character, played by Willem Dafoe. He accidently found the cure to the vampire plague but doesn’t know what exactly happened. Soon they get all the puzzle pieces together and manage to find out what exact process is needed to transform the vampires back into human beings. Once that’s done they try to bring the cure to the people… that’s where the hassle begins. Because the guy who runs the blood factory, played by Sam Neill, doesn’t want to be cured. And he doesn’t want the society to be cured. Simple bad guy plot there.
The movie plays great with the concept of showing a world much like ours… only ran by a vampire species. The first 10 minutes of the movie are nicely used to set up that world. Whenever the movie shows stuff from the cities and normal day in day out things it gets really interesting. Unfortunately there aren’t too many of these moments. There are also some inconsistencies. One thing I noticed right at the beginning of the movie was that the vampires aren’t visible in mirrors (of course not!) but then you can see them in television? Don’t cameras work with mirrors too? Sorta? A little weird.
The positive thing were the ideas they played with. There is a nice car chase sequence happening… at day. The vampire car windows are, of course, shielded and the car driven via camera. Now in that chase the bad guys shoot the windows of the hero car and the resulting light beams coming through the holes are kind of deadly to our hero. Now it’s cool to see what they’re doing with that. I find they could have done a little more with that idea in that chase sequence but what we see is a good enough execution of the scene. Another thing worth to mention is the finale where it really celebrates some gore moments. A sea of blood! I’m not sure if that’s a statement to the current state of our own society a bit or if they just wanted to have some fun with red fluids.
Ultimately the movie is a nice and different take on all the subject matter of vampires and stuff. The actors did a good enough job for that kind of film and were fun to watch. The evil Sam Neill was cool to see since he did a nice job being evil in Event Horizon too. The VFX did their job good enough. Camera work was alright but nothing too special. The Make-Up work was good… especially for that man-bat kinda creature.