Ever since I saw their first movie Undead, I was waiting for another Spierig brothers movie. Daybreakers is a slick, creative, and entertaining vampire movie worth watching. It takes the basic vampire movie premise and cranks it up to a thousand. The story takes place in the near future where almost everyone is a vampire. When you think about it, why shouldn’t they be? Immortality, strength, and all the rest of the perks are much better than noob shit we’ve got now, as humans. Daybreakers is a movie that seamlessly blends science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres into one highly combustible mixture.
When you’re making a movie like this, worldbuilding is everything. And they’ve done some pretty good worldbuilding here. It reminds me of another odd vampire movie, Perfect Creature. Speaking odd, the movie we’re going to be talking about today opens with a teenage vampire girl killing herself with sunlight. And there will be several of these unexpected scenes strewn across the movie. This is why Daybreakers feels much different than your usual Hollywood vampire movie. However, it certainly looks like a big Hollywood production.
I wonder how come Ethan Hawke never played a vampire before. He’s got the perfect physical appearance although Willem Dafoe has got him beat in that department. This is why this is his third vampire movie after The Vampire’s Assistant and Shadow of the Vampire. And we’ve also got dependable Sam Neill in the squad. Luckily, the script was pretty solid featuring well-developed characters. And the same goes for storytelling. Sure, you could see some twists from a mile away but at least the atmosphere covered that up. This is a world of darkness oftentimes illuminated only by glowing vampiric eyes.
It is the year of our lord Dracula 2019 and almost everyone on Earth is a vampire. The tables have turned and now even those remaining humans want to become vampires. Those who are unwilling to go through the process will pay for that insubordination with their blood, literally. In this new world, everything seems to be running smoothly. But, beneath the surface, a catastrophe is looming over this new society. A catastrophe that can be prevented by one man, Edward Dalton.
I should also mention that apart from vampires we’ll have the opportunity to meet another, far more dangerous creature of the night. The movie Daybreakers calls them subsiders, twisted, bloodthirsty creatures ready to strike in an instant. I also liked all of these small details that further immerse you into this vampire world. A world where they drink morning coffee spiked with human blood. And where if they don’t feed for a certain amount of time, their ears start to get pointy.
All of these gimmicks build up into a sense of a fully-fleshed-out world featuring a strong tech noir vibe. Kind of like a blend between Blade Runner and RoboCop but with vampires. The pacing is rather brisk and the running time is quite short as Daybreakers clock in at 90 minutes. So, if you’re looking for a different breed of vampire movie, it’s an excellent choice with one hell of a finale.
Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Writers: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Isabel Lucas, Michelle Atkinson, Christopher Kirby
Fun Stuff: The script for Daybreakers has been around since 2004 and it took three years to get the proper funding and begin the filming process in 2007.