Daybreakers - a world of vampires


Daybreakers (2009, Australia/USA)

Seen: Monday, 18th January 2010 (cinema)
Runtime: 98′
Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, Claudia Karvan, Michael Dorman, Willem Dafoe
Production House: Lionsgate, Australian Film Finance Corporation (AFFC), Pictures in Paradise, Pacific Film and Television Commission, Furst Films
Plot: (from imdb)

In the year 2019, a plague has transformed most every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.


Impressions In Short
It could have been hilarious if it hadn’t been so gutless.

More About the Film
There were a lot of interesting and fun tidbits in the film, but on the whole I felt it didn’t quite work. Not because it was a bad idea or because it didn’t have the potential, but because they just didn’t go far enough.
From the get-go, they were mixing melodrama and comedy. The opening shot is of a girl, who is infected with the “vampire disease”. She commits suicide by going out into the sun because she can’t stand the idea that she will never age. From there they delve into a world where all the advertisements talk about blood and eternal life and whatever else it is that vampires need. Some of the jokes are obvious (coffee now has blood mixed in), some are more risky (the American military recruiting poster now reads “Join today to capture humans!”). And of course the main character was definitely called Edward on purpose ;)
The problem was that they didn’t have the guts to go far enough into the melodrama and dark humour, so they made a relatively standard sci-fi/vampire flick instead. If the idea had been utilized to its fullest they would have had something approaching the bizarreness of Sweeney Todd I think ;)
It was still a relatively nice film to see, but it could have been so much better. The casting was excellent, they really got the right people for the job (which made it even more annoying that they didn’t go for perverse humour and melodrama in larger quantities - they had a cast that could have pulled it off!).

Hard to say… If they had chosen to either go further on the bizarreness factor or stay more safely in the sci-fi/vampire genre it would be a bit easier to recommend to a specific audience. This way I think most people will be left unsatisfied for one reason or another.

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