Two-time Academy Award® nominee Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a researcher in the year 2019, when an unknown plague has transformed the world’s population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race.While Daybreakers presents vampiric traits that distinguish its vampires from others in the many films that have ridden 2009’s vampire movie wave, there is a lack of humor here that makes this film sour compared to sweeter ones like Cirque du Freak: A Vampire’s Assistant. Maybe that’s because the plot in this horror feature from Peter and Michael Spierig (Undead) is more akin to zombie films like 28 Days Later. The year is 2019, and nearly all humans are converted vampires searching in vain for blood during a blood shortage, as they drain remaining humans into

Rating: (out of 95 reviews)

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5 thoughts on “Daybreakers

  1. Review by Renfield for Daybreakers
    To be entertained. And that’s what this movie does- it ensures your entertainment for its runtime.

    A good vampire movie is almost a rarity these days. Err, that’s an understatment. A good vampire ANYTHING is a rarity these days. Ever since the Twihard movement exploded we’ve beem getting tons of OC-With-Wampires things. It is rather sad; I love vampires as much as the next guy and I’ll be honest when I say that I began to lose that love when Twilight came out. And I almost CRINGED seeing the trailer- I thought it looked cool but just like a poor man’s Blade Runner with vampires.

    Well when I saw this movie, I found out how wrong I was.

    Right now this movie has a love it or hate it thing- I like that. It shows that movies don’t have to be for everyone. That they have audiences of their own.

    Edward (not Cullen) is a vampire who works for a blood farming company. His brother is a police officer hellbent for finding humans. There are very few humans left- and a very small amount of blood. Blood is running low. Companies are now reducing the amount of blood they offer with certain products.

    However, Edward doesn’t like being a vampire. He doesn’t like the fact that he has to drink the blood of people to keep his belly full. And he misses being able to experience the sun. After coming across a group of humans one night, he takes interest in them and eventually has a meeting set up with former vampire Lionel (played by Willem Dafoe), a human, and together he and the humans plan to turn vampires back to humans.

    This is why we go to the cinema- so we can be entertained. This movie did just that. For 100 minutes, it provided some nice scares, gore, and action to add to the fun, not to mention it had a well placed amount of humor. Sure the CG effects are a bit cheesy, and it’s definitely no Avatar when it comes to SFX- but that is the point. But the overall look of the film is very gorgeous- it was a total doozie in the theater. The tinted blue looks gorgeous and the night scenes are crisp, and nice to watch.

    Also, the political aspect is also a brilliant factor. Vampires being a metaphor for politics. Blood being a metaphor for OIL. This movie is very symbolic of how the government is greedy as hell when it comes to oil. And also, the best part is the last 15 minutes- they fed their greed, and as a result, their greed cost them dearly.

    In short, this movie is a near perfect vamp flick. It wastes no time getting straight to the point, it just gives us what we came to see. If you like vampire movies, this is a must for sure.

  2. Review by Nathan Andersen for Daybreakers
    Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) is a reluctant vampire in a world where humans have become rare. It’s a clever idea: if there really were vampires and they could spread like a virus, why wouldn’t they soon run the world rather than slink around in shadows? It turns out this film shows exactly why, if they’re smart, vampires would stay out of sight and wouldn’t want to spread. Vampires do rule the world in this film, and human beings are the ones who have to creep about during the day, hidden as best they can from their refined and powerful predators. The problem is that the vampires are running out of humans to harvest, and without human blood they gradually devolve into something darker and more demonic, Nosferatu-style bat-like beasts with no trace of remaining humanity.

    The basic plot is simple enough, and should be familiar to those who remember Dances with Wolves or Pocahontas, or the much more recent Avatar: Ethan Hawke plays the outsider from a conquering race who comes to sympathize with and eventually fight alongside the conquered race, in part because his first encounter is with a beautiful woman he falls for.

    The execution is not perfect. The dialogue is full of cliches, and the final solution is all too convenient. It’s a bit somber, and almost entirely lacking in the kind of dark humor or wit of a film like Near Dark. There’s nothing all that memorable about the cinematography or editing, and I found myself thinking it might be more fitting in a television series. In fact there were several elements of the story that were overly compressed or unexplained, and that might have been fleshed out in a miniseries, and might have been more interesting in that medium. As it is, this is a moderately entertaining vampire flick that’s different enough to be worth watching for fans of the genre and engaging and accessible enough to be a decent way for the rest of us (at least those who aren’t overly squeamish) to kill a couple hours. Nothing profound or unique here, but decent bloody entertainment.

  3. Review by alexrr1984 for Daybreakers
    Daybreakers arrived in cinemas with a very minimal advertising campaign that failed to bring more attention to such an incredible piece of B-movie awesomeness. While it’s true that much of the dialogue is throwaway, there is no doubt in my mind that it will reach its potential as a cult classic in the following decades. It borrows pieces of other vampire films that came before it (Blade, Underworld, Near Dark, 30 Days of Night) and combines it with a dystopian vision of the future that resembles something out of a Phillip K. Dick novel. Some of the characters could have been stronger, but the intense atmosphere more than makes up for the weak character development. The film switches off between two principal settings: a vampire-inhabited metropolis all shot in monochromatic black and gray, and the human encampment filmed in a warmer and more organic color palette. The complete role reversal of vampires vs. humans (rather than the other way around) is ingenious, and gives the story a fresh sense of urgency.

  4. Review by Karen Joan for Daybreakers
    DAYBREAKERS is a fresh take on the average vampire horror tale, bordering on camp, but definitely original. Quite unexpectedly, my husband and I really enjoyed this film. In DAYBREAKERS, we find that the human race was nearly destroyed by a plague, but vampires gave them a way out. Now vampires are the dominant species on earth, night and day are reversed, vampires are going about their normal “nightly” routines, and the remaining humans are hunted fugitives. There are so few humans remaining that a blood shortage is causing the vampires to panic, and the vampires have initiated a massive R&D effort to create a synthetic substitute. if they don’t find it, the vampires will mutate horribly and die. But there may be an alternative. One that will change the world of the vampires forever.

    If, like me, you find vampire horror films (not teen angst films) to be a guilty pleasure, then I think you will enjoy DAYBREAKERS. Part I Am Legend, part Buffy, part Blade (but all with a twist), DAYBREAKERS brings a unique and creative story to the average vampire flick. The plot is intriguing, and the ending is surprising. The special effects appropriately scary and interesting, the blood and gore as to be expected, and lore within the film is consistent. The acting is not the best I have seen, but it is not the worst either.

    For a fresh take on an old genre, give DAYBREAKERS a try. You might be glad you did.

  5. Review by Nick Wagner for Daybreakers
    Daybreakers is a breath of fresh air in the world of vampire cinema that currently consists of the Twilight series of films. I have nothing against these films, I just prefer my vampires to be badass and blood-thirsty, while maintaining that aura of supernatural coolness à la Christopher Lee in Horror of Dracula. Daybreakers initially looked bland and forgettable to me, but to my surprise the film manages to pull off being enjoyable as well as bringing a few new ideas to the vampire genre. The film is not groundbreaking in any way, but it is a fun time and (for me) it made vampires cool again.

    To start off, the casting is good. I don’t personally care for Ethan Hawke, but he works here just fine delivering a satisfactory performance. The real standouts are Sam Neill as Hawke’s boss and Willem Dafoe as a kick-ass vampire hunter with a taste for muscle cars, high-tech crossbows, and Elvis Presley. The supporting cast is made up of mostly unknowns and they turn in decent performances. The direction by the Speirig Brothers is above-average, but nothing spectacular. It’s a relief to see a horror film that doesn’t have that ridiculous shaky-cam thing going on. The action scenes are well-directed as well, with an unexpected car chase happening about halfway through. I must say that the cinematography is excellent, with lots of dark blues and grays in the vampire scenes and dry browns and yellows in the human scenes. It reminded me of the cinematography in the original Blade. Again, nothing new but it is a visually pleasing film.

    The story itself is nothing amazing, but it’s executed quite well. It is, however, interesting from both a horror and sci-fi standpoint, utilizing both genres for maximum effectiveness. As a horror film, it does well with a few scares and lots of blood and gore (another surprise for me, but I’ll get to that in a minute). However, it really shines as a science-fiction film. The idea of a shortage of blood causing the vampires to panic is an interesting role reversal that I found quite amusing. It also has overtones of greedy multi-national corporations only in it to make a profit (gleefully reminding me of the Weyland-Yutani company from Alien & Aliens). There are some nifty new ideas that also made the film feel like a welcome addition to the sci-fi/horror genre. I really don’t want to spoil them, so I’ll be careful with my choice of words. The vampires have adjusted their way of living to not be hampered by that pesky sunlight. This is done both outright and subtly, the latter of which I found myself chuckling at the filmmaker’s ingenuity. Other interesting ideas include the cure itself (which I initially scoffed at, but the more I thought about it I realized in the context of the story, it works) and the concept of what happens to a malnourished vampire that doesn’t get regular servings of blood. Does it die? You’ll get the answer in Daybreakers. There is also a nice Romero-style commentary on some current social and economic issues, that works well and doesn’t get too preachy.

    The special effects are well-done. The CGI is nothing special, though the vampires exploding after being staked was pretty cool. However, there are tons of live-acion gore effects that I was very happy to see considering the industry’s current obsession with CGI. It was nice to see some Day of the Dead-style gore happening in the modern age; and if this comment doesn’t make it clear, let me spell it out for you: this film is VERY gory. There’s a lot of blood, guts and body parts flying around (one bit early on actually made me jump – something that usually never happens) so be warned. It’s not Dead Alive or anything, but it is pretty heavy on the red stuff! Gorehounds (myself included) will not be disappointed.

    Any complaints? Not really. I originally wanted Willem Dafoe to be more badass, spouting one-liners and such, but he didn’t reach that level of true “badass-ness” like John McClane, Arnold or Woody Harrelson’s character did in the recent Zombieland. In retrospect, I realized that this may have messed with the tone of the film so it was probably for the best. The film ended quite abruptly too. Is it too much to ask for a minute of wrap-up? But hey, neither of these make the film any less of a good time.

    So, bottom line: I would whole-heartedly recommend this one to any sci-fi/horror fans. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but it’s executed in a stylish and interesting manner so you’ll definitely enjoy it.

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