Short synopsis: In the near future, only 5% of the human population remains. The rest of the population has “turned”…into vampires. They are quickly running out of blood. Blood is Big Business, and Big Business is as sleazy as ever, profiting from human blood farming (as portrayed pretty grotesque but amazing visual in the film). However there are vampires who want to save humans and humans who want to cure vampires. In the middle of it all is the central character. He’s a vampire who’s trying to create a synthetic blood substitute.
- It’s made by the Speirig brothers, two up-and-coming Australian directors I have a feeling we may be seeing some quality horror from in the future. Watching the directors’ commentary, I got the feeling that these guys are tremendously ambitious and talented, the film’s small flaws aside.
- Though the middle portion of the film loses a little bit of steam, it is still, overall, really fun and watchable.
- Like “Let the Right One In,” (review forthcoming) “Daybreakers” turns the vampire genre on its ear, mostly by taking away a lot of the power and glamor normally associated with celluloid vampires. These vampires may be great-looking, but great looks only go so far when there’s a
bloodfood shortage going on.
- Because “Daybreakers” chooses not to break any “vampire rules”–i.e. AVOID THE SUN–the filmmakers had to create scenarios that will make the viewer think “Ah! Of course they’d have to figure this out!” or “That’s really goddamn clever.” Yeah, the specially-designed cars, homes and warning sirens, all designed to warn of and protect from sunlight were fucking cool and clever.
- It’s pretty terrific-looking. Sepia-toned and with a vaguely-40’s aesthetic, it was at once modern and retro. I don’t recall a cityscape looking so glamorous-dystopian since “Blade Runner.”
- I will never complain about a film that literally portrays powerful corporations as bloodsuckers. The CEO of Bromley Marks, a huge and hugely powerful pharmaceutical, is trying to find a substitute for blood…but only because he knows there’s profit to be made. However, he maintains that there will always be a “market for the real thing” (and implies he’ll be happy to create supply).
- As a viewer, you’re never quite sure for whom to root. Vampires are so plentiful and leading such “human” lives, you are, of course, tempted to wish for them to get relief from their suffering. But then you are reminded that this is a world in which humans are being hunted and farmed. The vampires are attractive–rather than freakish-looking– and”normal,” so it’s almost as if they are “The New Humans.” Furthermore, the movie raises other questions of morality by creating a subset of grotesque and creepy vampires–stand-ins for our own poor and disenfranchised–who are devolving because they are so hungry they are feeding on themselves. They are disgusting and scary…but then so is the scene where they are chained and carted out en masse into the sun (by a paramilitary government) like cows to slaughter. It’s stuff that makes you think. And not pretty things.
- Because I said so, and I have amazing taste in everything.