Yet another entry in the long line of vampire related movies being made recently. Can we stop with the vampires already? Let’s move on to some other monster, but not werewolves, because that’s about to happen anyway. Maybe the Incredible Shrinking Man? Mmm, no. How about The Invisible Man? Uuh, no, no. Maybe Food of the Gods? Meh. How about The Day of the Triffids? Haha. What. I hear talk of a new Creature From the Black Lagoon. Gee, I don’t know. It would be easy to fuck up that one. But I digress.
All nonsense aside (or not, seeing as that would make this review moot), Daybreakers is about some time in the future when a plague has turned just about everyone on Earth into vampires. Those remaining humans are farmed for their blood. But the vampires are running out of …us. So what will they do? Will they starve? Will they find a substitute? Will they find a way of filming it so we, the audience, enjoys it? Uh, no. In fact, all of the movies listed above are more enjoyable than this one.
The Spierig brothers wrote and directed this decent idea that falls apart about half way through, if not sooner. These guys directed the zombie horror film, Undead a few years ago. Daybreakers is full of style and even has a few really cool gory scenes that were bright spots in a movie otherwise weighed down by too much talk and inconsistencies. For instance, why would a vampire randomly be cured – made human again – by the sun? Ok, so they sort of explain that, SORT OF. But also, the first vampire is covered in scars from the burning, yet another one that was exposed to the sun longer, has NO scars?
Other random things that confuse me about this film: What is Willem DeFoe doing in it? Why is Sam Neill? I can sort of see why Ethan Hawk is in it. It HAS to be yet another big perks package/paycheck for the actors. Why not take a little vacation from acting, WHILE you’re acting?
There is a bunch of stuff about how when vampires don’t get enough blood, they start to regress into this weird, quasi-bat-like monster. They’re pretty cool. The make-up is great, and they add a genuine element of fear to the movie. One of the coolest scenes in the film is when one turns up in Edward Dalton’s (Ethan Hawk) home and attacks him and his brother. There is some fun bloodshed and a delightful beheading. It’s cool. We’re shown that these creatures, called “sub-siders”, are increasing in numbers as the blood shortage gets worse. The story builds and as we get to the third act it is insinuated that these things are over-running the cities. So, naturally I expect some big conflagration between them and the remaining vampires.
Nope. The sub-siders simply don’t show up in the movie anymore. Instead they continue the focus on Ethan Hawk’s character trying to find a way to cure vampirism. With Willem DeFoe’s help, who, by the way, is pretty entertaining. He also gets the best/funniest line in the movie.
This is just another vampire movie with a promising idea that doesn’t pan out. And there isn’t enough gore to please the horror crowd, and not enough logic to satisfy anyone beyond a high school education. I say with no humor intended; this film can suck it.
—Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, ready to move on from the vampire craze.