In the year 2019, a plague has transformed almost every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.
In a world 10 years into the future, vampires make up the vast majority of the population with only 5% of the human race remaining. This presents particular challenges as the vampires' food supply - human blood - is dwindling and rationing is now the norm. There is growing evidence that vampires deprived of an adequate blood supply are themselves evolving into wild, vile creatures that attack anyone and anything in order to survive. Dr. Edward Dalton, a vampire and hematologist who works for a pharmaceutical firm, has been working on finding an artificial blood supply that will meet the vampire society's needs. He is sympathetic to humans and sees his work as a way of alleviating their suffering but his views on finding a solution change considerably when he meets someone who found a way to transform himself from being a vampire to again take human form. Written by
This film is considered an "Ozploitation" (Australian exploitation) picture. See more »
In the first scene set in Charles Bromley's office, Bromley greets Edward Dalton and touches Dalton at the elbow with his right hand; in the next shot, Bromley's arm is at his side. See more »
Let's be clear about this. Humans were offered a chance to assimilate, but they refused. Therefore, they are enemies of the state and will be captured and farmed for blood supply.
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In line with the subject of the movie, the lettering of the end credits is in red, instead of the customary white. See more »
"That last breath of humanity will vanish as soon as the blood does."
Daybreakers is a superbly fresh and entertaining vampire experience. The film takes place in a dystopian future only a decade from now in which an outbreak in vampirism has turned the known world on its head. Contrary to the typical vampire film setup, vampires make up the majority of the world's population here and humans, who are either being framed for blood or are in hiding, make up only around 5%. In a way, the setup somewhat reminds me of the film Equilibrium, with vampires added into the mix.
The film finely balances sci-fi, horror, and action and I also really appreciated the utter desperation present in the film. So many action movies go so over-the-top in their action heroes that you never feel like their in any danger of being defeated, but here all odds are against our protagonists and, as events unfold, their situation grows gloomier and gloomier.
The entire cast--which includes Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, William Dafoe, and Claudia Karvanis on top of their game here and play the material straight, which is very refreshing. Especially Sam Neill, whom I've always been a fan of since I saw Jurassic Park as a kid, is great here and he really manages to steal the show in his scenes.
Also refreshing is the amount of bloodletting and thematic material present here. Make no mistake, Daybreakers is a "hard 'R'" and full of violence and grotesque sites like starving vampires turning into monstrosities that are hard to look at. The film also had ideas and much to say about a struggling society in the face of low supply to meet high demand.
I wasn't a huge fan of Undead, but the Spierig Brothers have truly crafted something special here. I do wish the film was a bit longer as I wanted to know more about the society the story took place in, but that's a testament to the film itself. If you're seeking a more adult vampire film with enough substance to excuse its style, I recommend Daybreakers.
Related Recommendations: Equilibrium, Gattaca, They Live, Aeon Flux , Blade, Blade II, The Matrix
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