SYNOPSIS: In a world where an epidemic turned the majority of the population into vampires, the supply of human blood has become scarce. If a blood substitute is not found, then the vampires will continue their mutation into mindless, bat-like creatures.
The Spierig Brothers, writers and directors of 2003's "Undead", bring a clever twist to an all-but-overused vampire mythology. I was afraid that "Daybreakers" would rip-off parts of "Blade 2". But I was pleasantly surprised with the storyline. We all know that the vampire nations control governments and corporations... "Twilight", "Blade" and a myriad of other genre movies and books have taught us that. In "Daybreakers", we see a world that needs to cater to vampires because they are the vast majority. Car manufacturers provide auto-blackening windows for daytime driving, coffee shops add blood to their lattes, and the cityscape has been restructured for easier vampiric underground commuting between buildings and between work and home. And, of course, major corporations hunt down the remaining humans in order to herd them like cattle to harvest their blood.
Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a hemotologist, charged with the responsibility to find a human blood substitute before the supply runs out at month's end. Unwilling to drink human blood and unhappy with how humans are treated, he is desperate to end the dependency on humans.
Sam Neill epitomizes the corporate head who sees vampirism as a blessing, both personally and professionally. Willem Dafoe plays the other side of the coin as a former blood-sucker who reverts to a mere human through a unlikely series of events that the human resistance is trying to replicate.
The film looks cool, literally. The vampire world is shrouded in blues and grays. Only their eyes glow a menacing amber. The wardrobe is blood reds and blacks. Most of the populace smokes, probably to capture any semblance of taste is their lives, adding a misty haze around them. Where the amber in the vampires eyes is predatory, the bright sepia daytime for the humans is warm and, relatively, safe.
What happens when something becomes the majority? It become the standard. Since vampires are the ruling class, humans have become sub-human. Who cares what a sub-class needs or wants, as long as the needs of the many comes first. But when the vampires are threatened to become a class of creatures themselves, it is not about the needs of the many, but the needs of the few.
Worth: Matinee and DVD