I saw Daybreakers on Friday.
I’ve been looking forward to this one since I heard about it for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a vampire movie, but for adults, not romance-starved, middle-aged women and their daughters. Secondly, because it seemed to deal with a problem I thought would have come up if vampirism actually existed, namely, an overabundance of blood-suckers and not enough blood to go around.
So, right, on the first thing, here’s the deal. Vampires are monsters, right? Not walking sexual fantasies. They should be monsters, not the homo-erotic metro-sexuals that Anne Rice made them into. And, in this movie, they are, in fact, monsters. Really, in a way, they maybe more monstrous because they’ve become the mainstream. They’ve become the giant corporation literally bleeding people dry to make a profit! And, because of the rating, we see the blood. No sparkly chests here, just blood-suckers. In fact, since so many humans have turned and become vampires, they’re starving themselves to death, as a society. And, as vampires starve, they become even more horrible. In their hunger, they even turn on their own kind.
And, that’s the second part…
So, being a vampire is pretty attractive, right? I mean, virtually eternal life, strong, disease free and the ultimate predator. Pretty cool. Sure, there are some drawbacks, like bursting into flames in direct sunlight and having to drink human blood, but, still, pretty awesome. With all that going on, I always figured most people would want to be turned. So does this movie.
The problem is, in less than ten years, since the vampirism “disease” first showed up, almost all the humans have turned, and that means there’s not enough blood to go around.
Enter, Ethan Hawke’s character. He’s a hemotologist working for the company who farms the existing humans out for vampire food. And, he’s working on an artificial blood “substitute” so that vampires won’t have to feed on humans any more. He thinks he’s looking for a cure, but his boss, played by Sam Neil, figures he’s just looking for a product to sell to the poorer vampires who are starving.
Well, through a car accident, he meets some “free range” humans, who have been hiding from the vampire army out to find them and farm them. Because, he’s a reluctant vampire, he helps them hide from the vampire police. They get away, but come back to his house in a few days and try to get him to help them find a cure. When he agrees, he meets Wilem Defoe’s character who is a vampire that somehow, spontaneously cheats death by sunlight to become human again.
They work together and find a cure, of sorts, which allows Hawke’s character to revert to being human. Then, they go about changing the world.
But, to tell you more would ruin the film,so I’ll stop giving away any plot here.
Mostly, this was a good film.
It was a kind of ironic action film with a horror flavor to it, but not over-the-top gory. Yes, there were the exploding vampires, and, yes, it does start with what seems to be a teen-aged girl vampire committing suicide in the sun, but, really, for all that, it wasn’t all that gory. It was pretty non-stop, though, for at least the first two thirds of the movie. It picks up again near the end, but it ends really, really poorly.
Actually, if not for the incredibly weak-ass ending, I’d have given this a fantastic review, but, well, as it is, the ending damn near ruins the film. Unless you’re a huge fan of vampire movies, or someone in the film, I’d recommend waiting until this one was on DVD before seeing it. Really.
It was a clever premise and a pretty cool cast, but the ending was so weak that I just can’t suggest that you all see this movie in the theaters. It’s good, but, honestly, it’s only worth, maybe, seeing at a matinee. That really is how weak and disappointing the ending was for me. It’s sad, really, because until the ending, it really was a pretty clever little film.