#11 - Daybreakers
SUMMARY (courtesy of IMDB)
In the year 2019, a plague has transformed almost 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.
REVIEW (spoilers ahead)
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: Oh no…she’s reviewing another vampire movie… Please withhold the eye-rolls and deep sighs for afterwards if you still need to.
This movie is one of the most original vampire movies I have ever come across. Vampires have spread so much, that most of our civilization is made up of vampires in this movie…so much so that there is only 5% of the human population left. The idea simply amazes me, and the acting, though many may think, Ethan Hawke? Seriously?, is quite good. Do not underestimate this actor. He is very good in this movie, and alongside Willem Dafoe and Sam Neil, he proves himself. Sam Neil is delightfully charismatic and evil and everything that a vampire should be. Willem Dafoe gives the movie a feel of being lived in, of having a rugged and natural quality to it, and I simply love him portraying a vampire who has been turned human, but without a heartbeat, making him an eternal human. I love the concept, and these actors really bring it to life.
Though the graphics are sub-par, the details that they manage to work into the story are rather nice and caters to a smarter audience. It makes it a B-movie that is custom-made for a more intelligent viewer. One of my favorite details that they remember all of the changes that come along with having a society that lives in the dark, but is still stuck on the normal work-during-the-day-sleep-at-night concept. They have cars that have daylight driving mode for vampires, and the writers even included a feature on the car that when the door is open during the day, it says, “Warning: UV light detection. Warning: UV light detection.” That is just one of the many details that they follow that makes this one of the more successful vampire movies.
What I enjoy most about this movie is that it doesn’t really deal with any weird romance between a human and a vampire, or even necessarily glamorize vampires. I mean, they’re pretty, I guess, and they’re also still scary, but it shows how much a vampire can envy the life of a human. It shows the psychology of a vampire only having half of a life, and not a real one. Ethan Hawke’s character, a vampire hematologist, shows an envy of the humans and the fact they are not reliant on one source of life. An envy of the fact that humans can exist in both worlds, without having to rely on only one food for sustenance. I love seeing the reversal. Especially when it is shown that there are people who have no desire to become vampires.
In fact, there’s a great set of lines that explains it. Hawke’s character asks, “Aren’t you scared of dying?” and the woman’s response is, “Yes, but most of us are too scared of death to think of it as an option. I guess that’s why so many turned.”
Great line. It sort of explains our fascination with the mythology of vampires. It’s the idea of escaping death and then having the freedom to do whatever you want without ever having to fear suffering consequences for your actions. It’s an escape from the normal, human rules of morality and responsibility.
All in all, an amazing movie. Language and gore, of course, but worth it for the fascinating ride that it takes you on.