Director: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, Willem Dafoe,
Isabel Lucas, Claudia Karvan, Michael Dorman, Jay Laga'aia,
Emma Randall, Christopher Kirby
RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16 (Some violence and gore)
Official Website: http://www.daybreakersmovie.com/
Opening Day: 14 January 2010
The year is 2019. A mysterious plague has swept over the earth,
transforming the majority of the world's population into vampires.
Humans are now an endangered, second-class species –
forced into hiding as they are hunted and farmed for vampire
consumption to the brink of extinction.
all up to Edward Dalton, a vampire researcher who refuses
to feed on human blood, to perfect a blood substitute that
might sustain vampires and spare the few remaining humans.
But time and hope are running out – until Ed meets Audrey,
a human survivor who leads him to a startling medical breakthrough.
Armed with knowledge that both humans and vampires will kill
for, Ed must battle his own kind in a deadly struggle that
will decide the fate of the human race.
In the usual setting for a vampire flick, the bloodthirsty
creatures are often a threat to humanity and the heroes are
often called to prevent such calamity from happening. Daybreakers
presents a "what if" scenario that the vampires had won that
war and humans became the minority. The vampires have became
the norm of society and humans are farmed for their blood
(the same way human are farmed as battery for the machine
in The Matrix). The interesting premise allowed the Spierig
Brothers to explore and expose various underlying issues in
human society in the midst of an action and special effects
One of the most interesting issue presented here dealt with
the extend of corporate greediness and our unhealthy consumerism
habits. It touches on corporate objective for profit and power
that it make one realized that they would be more than willing
to sacrifice the greater good if it is not able to churn out
monetary rewards for them. The vampire nation's reliance on
human blood bank also invokes the realism to our dependence
on oil. With a seemly finite amount of resources, it makes
one wonder why aren't we more aggressive in pursing an alternative
solution? It also begs to ask the question if the corporate
bigwigs would seek out this simple and better alternative
if it would means that it cuts into their share of profit
or an end to their business? Sadly, it's a bleak scenario
and anyone with an firm understanding of human psychology
would be able to guess how it would play out.
Another interesting issue that was brought out in Daybreakers
would be the Sub-siders. Due to the general lack of food for
the vampire population, a new breed of vampires emerges and
caused havoc to the vampire nation. They were socially outcast
and hunted as a menace to the society. The normal vampires
failed to see the links that bind these two species and it
invokes the irony of discrimination (which again could served
as metaphor for racial discrimination).
However, the Spierig Brothers lack the special storyteller
touch to bring all those issues into fruition. Those two issues
mention above were not thoroughly examined and explored. These
issues served as an device to showcase what's wrong with the
vampire nation and there's hardly any engaging materials to
emote the viewers to feel what's wrong with such a situation.
The directors who wrote the story also failed to build up
a story that makes the characters engaging enough for us to
feel for their climatic sacrifice at the end.
It's kinda of a pity as there's great visual to set the mood
of this film, a good looking Ethan Hawke that sizzle up the
screen with his brooding moody looks and Willem Dafoe hamming
it up as an ex vampire with a devil might care attitude. Daybreakers
had quite a few things going for it and yet sadly in the end,
it just plays out like another formulaic Hollywood movie,
beautiful to look at but ultimately soulless inside.
concepts that's filled with potential but the deal breaker
lies in it's execution)
Review by Richard Lim Jr