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DAYBREAKERS, 2010
Movie Review


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DAYBREAKERS, MOVIE POSTERDAYBREAKERS, 2010
Movie Reviews

Directed by Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Isabel Lucas, Sam Neill, Claudia Karvan, Jay Laga'aia, Vince Colosimo
Review by Jarred Thomas


SYNOPSIS:

In the year 2017, 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 (Hawke) works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.

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REVIEW:

An innovative take on the soon to be tired vampire genre, Daybreakers is a fun thrilling piece of entertainment with a new twist on the vampire mania. Now the film is not great. At times the story lags because of the convoluted plot involving the complex nature of the human and vampire relationship, but if you can get passed that (and you can) Daybreakers is a worthy action film with enough wit and humor to make up for any misgivings.

As the story goes, vampires are the majority. Humans are used in farming labs to provide vamps the substance they need to sustain life: blood. However the human race is depleting and a vamp researcher played by Ethan Hawke is out to find a solution to the problem. When vampires don’t get enough human blood, they turn into vicious mindless primitive vampires whose only desire is to feed. Hawke comes across a rogue band of humans looking to save humankind, but the nefarious Sam Neil, who does an excellent job in his role, has an agenda of his own that may hinder any attempt to save the dying human race.

Neil plans on developing a synthetic human blood to substitute the real thing, which would mean humans would be obsolete. Hawke, along with the human resistance, plan on developing a cure for vampirism, a prospect which does not sit well with Neil, who values being immortal. There’s a subplot with an emotional backbone involving Neil’s daughter who resists being turned and Hawke‘s brother who hunts humans for farming.

The Spierigs brothers come out from Australia and really do a nice job here. The action is pure entertainment. There are several well done scenes which have you both scared in one moment then laughing the next. The Spierigs brothers do a fine job balancing the black humor with some of the darker elements of the plot.

The look of film is also alluring and has a signature style that can be associated with the Spierigs brothers. It’s also worth noting that the film does not have a huge budget, but the directors use what they have and present a good quality film. A reminder that sometimes less is more.

The best vampire film of the decade however belongs to “Let the Right One in,” a Swedish film that is far more innovative than Daybreakers, delivering exceptional dramatic moments mixed with enough gore and blood to satisfy the hardcore fans. But in a vampire obsessed world, Daybreakers certainly has a place on the list of compelling stories that not only continues the mythology but also has enough originality to distinguish itself from the rest. Trust me, with so many vampires picture these days even the smallest amount of originality can go a long way.

Despite its flaws, and there are some including the campy dialogue and the musical cues that overly emphasize dramatic moments, Daybreakers is still a solid film. Vampires over the years have become big softies who just need a hug, the Spierig brothers are here to remind us that, no, these are killers, and wow do they kill in this film. With gripping scenes and a unique twist on the vampire genre, Daybreakers is a nice break from the teen obsessed vampires and certainly one you can sink you’re your teeth into.

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