Daybreakers Breaks the Mold

DaybreakersTrue Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Twilight and a forthcoming Underworld film.  Vampires are indeed hip again.  It takes me back to the not so distant days of the 90’s when vampire stories and the occasional production were all the rage.  History certainly does repeat itself.  Here we are in a very young 2010 and brothers Michael and Peter Spierig have brought us another blood-soaked brick in the wall of vampire masonry, Daybreakers

The upside to making a vamp flick is there’s a big call for it.  Audiences will come to you, you don’t have to seek them out.  The bad side is so much has been done with the genre, you really have to put your mind to work to set yourself apart from the rest of what’s out there.  So, what is Daybreakers‘ calling card?  Well, you’ve heard of farmers harvesting their crops right?  Let’s put vampires in that role with a corporate spin, but instead of heads of lettuce, it’s heads of humans. 


2019 is a year when vampires dominate the population.  Humans are still found, but in small pockets trying to evade capture.  The corporate big wigs send out their military muscle to find, sedate, and obtain human specimens for a very sadistic imprisonment where they are slowly drained of their crimson life juice.  Roaming his dreary office that spearheads this operation is the greedily elite Charles Bromley (Sam Neill), whose calm but intimidating demeanor supervises the establishment’s lead scientist.  Enter  Ethan Hawke who plays vampire hematologist Edward Dalton.  He’s never been fond of the drug-and-drain technique and is desperately searching for a resolution in the form of synthetic blood.  Time after time, governments and corporations have tried and failed at the fabled concoction.  Unfortunately, crunch time is coming as the human supply is nearly depleted.  The military is hard-pressed to find a significant amount of humans and science has yet to yield results.

It’s about then when hell starts to break loose.  You see, if a vampire doesn’t feed, or if they feed on themselves or other vampires, they poison themselves, transforming into demonic-looking abominations purely driven by the taste of blood.  These once-human, once-coherent-vampires are now nothing more than feral feeding machines with bat-like characteristics.  As the blood supply runs low and these zombie-like underdwellers start surfacing in the suburbs, the story takes yet another turn as human and Dalton must work side by side. 


Before going in, I wasn’t aware the film contained the likes of Willem Dafoe, but he was a welcomed addition to the movie.  Dafoe assumes the role of Lionel ‘Elvis’ Cormac, once a human turned vampire now turned human again.  Did you get that?  I’m not going to explain it because that’s valuable plot material I’d rather not give away here, but Daybreakers is certainly a worthy watch, at least on video if nothing else.  If you’re a vampire aficionado or are a fan of Lionsgate films, you will appreciate what the Spierig brothers brought us.  The story offers some very slow moments that almost lend themselves to the attempt of walking through tar.  Nevertheless, the plot picks up in this on-again, off-again film that rocks it out at the end while throwing in the occasional bit of excessive violence at just the right moment. 

In the end, Daybreakers displays a unique  yet sometimes taxing story with vampires as the makeup of society.  Patience is required when watching this work, so hang in there.  There is certainly a bit of irony in this movie though.  When the scene arrived of the detained humans in the ‘donation’ facility, I heard a few gasps of horror throughout the audience.  Inhumane, isn’t it?  Someone being held against their will, forced to produce something of value for someone else.  Who could do such a thing in real life?  Why, humans of course!  It’s kind of like a factory farm with role reversal.      


Daybreakers Theatrical Poster





6 Responses to “Daybreakers Breaks the Mold”

  1. Brian White

    Thanks for the honest review! I am still undecided upon this one. There wasn’t much in the way of marketing for this film until very recently.

    So you did not mention Miss Lucas. How was she in this film?

  2. Gregg

    Check it out! I think you’d like it.

  3. Brian White

    I don’t know. There’s just something about this film. You would think, considering my tastes, that this would be a no-brainer for me. I guess I just don’t want to be disappointed. I will probably just wait for the eventual Blu-ray release.

  4. phoenix

    Good post. Blood suckers rule!

  5. Thor

    looking forward to this one even though i didn’t care very much for the directors last movie “The Undead”. also from what ive heard this one and last years “Thirst” were two vamp flicks that were missing from my TOP 16 vamp flicks list.

  6. Sandy

    I just saw Daybreakers and I was pleasantly surprised! I really enjoyed this film and I didn’t find it slow paced at all. I yelled/screamed in shock at one of the early scenes; kind of the reaction alot of people had during the judge scene in Law Abiding Citizen – I loved it. Definitely worth seeing.