Daybreakers: Directed by Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig. With Harriet Minto-Day, Jay Laga’aia, Damien Garvey, Sahaj Dumpleton. 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 the near future, a bat-borne plague has turned 99% of the human population into vampires. The remaining humans are hunted down and farmed for blood by a corporation headed by Charles Bromley (Sam Neill), an individual who views vampirism as a miracle since he was dying before the plague broke out. There arenu0026#39;t many humans left though, and when a vamp goes without blood, they turn into grotesque Nosferatu variants called subsiders. Bromley enlists his top hematologist (Ethan Hawke) to come up with a blood substitute, but an underground band of surviving humans has a different resolution in mind.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis film has a unique premise, and for the first hour or so, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the world that Michael and Peter Spierig created. The opening scene shows one of the downsides of vampirism, as a girl takes her life rather than be stuck in a childu0026#39;s body for eternity. There were other fun touches thrown in too, like blood coming in wine bottles and being poured over ice. The filmu0026#39;s storyline touches on themes of corporate greed taking precedent over the good of the public, and there is an underlying oil subtext that is less than subtle.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe second half turns into a clichéd mess. The ending in particular is really cheesy as a result. Truthfully, I would have been happy if the whole band of humans idea had been scrapped entirely. Surely they couldu0026#39;ve come up with something a little better. I mean, this is a pretty creative film. Other segments of the picture seem rushed, like the subplot involving Bromleyu0026#39;s daughter. Speaking of Bromley, Sam Neill is one of my favorite actors, so it was great seeing him in a genre film again. His presence is the highlight of Daybreakers. Iu0026#39;ve never much cared for Hawke, and his performance here did nothing to change my mind. Willem Dafoe also pops up, and while I usually do like him, his character here is annoying.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAs is, chalk it up as a movie that couldu0026#39;ve been more. Oh well, at least itu0026#39;s way better than the last work from the Spierigs, Undead. That was one of the rare films that I stopped watching halfway through. Quick note: I saw a father and two young teens leave shortly after an early scene involving a gory testing of the blood substitute. Guess they thought this would be another Twilight.”