Daybreakers; the first vampire movie of 2010 immediately set itself apart from the most prominent vampire movie of 2009 when it opened with a vampire choosing to die by sitting in the sunlight (ie, she didn’t just sparkle). It also set itself apart (and refreshingly so) by presenting us with admirable female role models. However it did make the mistake of naming its friendly vampire Edward. Little too close for comfort if you want to be taken seriously.
A vampire thriller brought to us by relative unknowns “The Spierig Brothers” (I must hold my hands up and say this is an assumption based on the fact that I have never heard of them, IMDB only lists them as having worked on 4 previous films and there is very little to be found when googled) and starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Niel; it is visually arresting with a great storyline to match. It sets a great mark for vampires and thrillers in 2010. Things were not looking good in the beginning of the film when it started by using the cheap gimmick of making the audience jump with the high pitched sound and sudden appearance of a bat. It continued along that vein with the high pitched scream of a girl vampire burning, the jump and snarl of a vampire hobo attacking and some unpleasant surprises in a surgical scene. However it soon established itself as more than a movie for a quick scare when it painted a world where Uncle Sam asks citizens for human blood, coffee shops add a little red stuff, announcements are made in neighborhoods regarding approaching daylight and anyone found to be protecting humans is quickly punished for doing so.
The Spierig Brothers achieved a feat so many can’t when they successfully created tension for an entire film. I found myself on the edge of the seat when Hawke got out of his car in some flimsy shade; risking it all on the word of this cross-bow yielding lady. In the same scene they also knew how to give a character an entrance when they introduced Dafoe’s character, “Elvis”. For what seemed like minutes we patiently waited to see who human lady wanted to introduce Edward to as he wandered around a tree. As we see a pair of boots appear we hear a voice speak on the very subject of trees; telling of how although they are the longest living things on earth they will too die eventually. Wise words. This man is someone who is sure to bring us great one liners and pearls of wisdom. And he didn’t disappoint either (see below). Although unfortunately the one-liner included in the concluding moments should really have been excluded. I undersand that maybe the film was setting itself up for a sequel (as another reviewer seemed to think) but in reality it took away from what was a striking film all on its own. Film-makers with more than one dimension it seems; displayed by the ability to also build great sexual tension between the admirable Audrey and a very handsome Hawke. Despite the, you know, crossbow between them in their first moments a defnite tension could be felt between the characters who lock eyes for more time than can be defined as mere suspicion. Audrey makes sure to look back before she leaves Edward and in a visually pleasing scene we see a shirtless Edward comment on Audrey’s warmth.
The film brings us some truly horrifying scenes as a vampire viciously asserts his dominance over a girl already trying to escape that of her father and stick to her beliefs and we see the starving vampires treated like lepers, literally. It also brings us jaw-dropping action heightened by the fear for both sides (humans and vampires).
A film that definitely contains elements which will appeal to the girls and the boys; I would advise a go see if you would like to see the aforementioned sexual tension, jaw-dropping action, visual treats, storyline twists and girls who get up and kick some ass rather than sit on a chair for 3 months.
“Being a human in a world full of vampires is about as safe as barebackin a $5 whore”
“Most of us are too scared of death to think of it as an option. I guess that’s why so many of us turned”
“You know Edward, her blood has a substance no substitute could ever replace; fear.”
“Hey, being a vampire and a politician it can be hard to make friends”