REVIEW: ‘Daybreakers’

Director:
Michael Spierig
Peter Spierig
Cast:
Ethan Hawke
Sam Neill
Willem Dafoe
Rated: R

Vampire fans should certainly be pleased with this new film.

In this alternate reality, the majority of Earth’s population have become vampires and because of the subsequent immortality, the world seems to be at a state of peace.

However, as the events of the film pick up, it’s revealed that the human population has dwindled so much that vampires are running out of blood. For this reason, a government employee named Edward Dalton, played by Ethan Hawke, is curious for a solution, but his search leads him to more unexpected discoveries.

Anytime a movie comes along with a new take on an old idea and does so with solid execution, it deserves credit. “Daybreakers” is one of those cases. Unlike other vampire films, even ones where the creatures have a society, they rarely appear like this where the majority of the planet are vampires and try to be as civilized as possible.

By going with this idea, the filmmakers are able to create an interesting scenario, where humans are now able to be immortal and live safe lives, but are also left with a frightening reality that they still have to survive on blood.

Another aspect aiding “Daybreakers” is the social commentary in the film, as the weakening blood supply is a metaphor for the world’s finite oil resources.

These ideas, tied in with an interesting story of governmental/corporate conspiracies and search for the truth by the lead character make for very compelling sci-fi/horror cinema.

Helping to deliver these aspects on screen were some nice performances. First and foremost, Ethan Hawke’s character is one of the more reluctant vampires out there who doesn’t believe what he’s doing is right. Hawke nails this element to his character, making him much easier to empathize with.

The one stealing much of the show, though, was Willem Dafoe, who brings all sorts of energy and charisma to the screen. Dafoe portrays his character’s desperation, frustration and want for the world to change very well, making the film all the more engaging.

Action and gore fans should be able to enjoy this flick, too, as there is plenty of excitement, thrills and chills to go around.

Overall, “Daybreakers” is a memorable film that takes chances and has some payoffs for doing so. While the movie did have a couple slow moments here and there, this was mostly good flick. 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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