Daybreakers (2009)

It’s rare that I physically jump during a film. In fact, the last time I jumped while watching a film in the theater was when Event Horizon came out in 1997. Daybreakers made me jump – multiple times. I might have even let out a scream or two.

This film, directed by the Spierig brothers takes a unique approach to the vampire horror film genre. The year is 2019 and the world has been affected by a plague that has turned almost all humans into vampires – we learn, many by choice. Faced with a dwindling human blood supply, the film follows the story of Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke), chief hematologist of a mega corporation owned by Charles Bromley (Sam Neill). Edward has been tasked with finding an adequate blood substitution that will save both the vampires and the corporation.

Laced with plot twists, moral dilemmas, and ultimately a very timely societal commentary, this film is a hard one to elaborate on without giving too much away and ruining the viewing experience for each of you. What I can say is that both Ethan Hawke and Sam Neill play powerful characters. While the script isn’t the strongest, they worked with what they had and made what they were going through seem both plausible and realistic. The strong supporting cast was led by Willem Dafoe playing a character aptly named Elvis, a human turned vampire turned human who provides much of the comedic relief throughout the film.

While there are a few plot inconsistencies throughout and a general expectation of the audience to assume certain answers to questions that are never actually answered, the film is easy to follow and provides a creative alternative to the popular ‘vampire’ genre that is sweeping Hollywood right now. One could argue this film fits well in the ‘indie film’ genre. It plays to its audience, being sure to give all the action and gore aficionados of the genre would have come to see, but never descends too far into cheesy excess.

My hope for this film is a wide release. With a strong cast, creative writing, great special effects and a new approach to a popular genre, this film could do well for itself. However, if it remains in limited release, this film could become a cult classic, similar to the Evil Dead franchise. This film earns it’s 18A rating and has several moments of gory action that aren’t for those with weak stomachs. If you get the chance to see this film on the big screen, do it – it’s worth the $12.50. If you have to wait for the DVD to come out, make sure you have a big screen TV, anything less would not do this film justice.

6 thoughts on “Daybreakers (2009)”

  1. this movie was so hyped up that it pissed me off when I watched it. I disliked it deeply. I called the plot and movie from the beginning, and I thought that the film was a bad and, eventually, stupid version of the vampire story. The film had some good parts to it, but in whole, it wasn’t very good.

  2. I don’t argue – movies are subjective (like art), some you like, some you don’t and most people don’t always agree with your view…

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