Monday Movie: Daybreakers

When I found out the guys behind Undead had decided to actually do what David Goyer had always been threatening to do and write a film set after his "vampire final solution" from the Blade films, I was intrigued. When I found out that Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe were starring, I was even more intrigued. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.

The film makes a natural progression in accepted vampire mythology and asks what happens when the infection spreads and there are no humans, and no blood, left? Obviously, this creates parallels with the ongoing environmental problems that Hollywood finds ever-more fascinating nowadays. The questions, however, are deep ones. What if we were left in a position where we had to either give up on our way of life or die out completely? That is the dilemma the vampires of Daybreakers are left with when a cure is invented: run out of blood and die, or give up on immortality.

Not that any of these questions are hammered home; they merely form the background to a action-adventure film, filled with car chases, shoot-outs and liberal gore. Nonetheless, the pace is slow and considerate, with character forming the basis for the action. Think Blade done in the style of Gattaca. Even down to the positioning of Ethan Hawke in the lead.

The acting is spot on, as you'd expect; the effects excellent and the plot is genuinely involving. The vampire world, which could so easily have been exploitation city, gives ample fodder for some stark imagery. The setpiece of a cafe stand at a tube station descending into chaos as blood-starved vampires storm it like a UN Food Drop for the supplies of blood used to flavour the coffee, while mutated, blood-deprived vampires scrap in the tunnels beneath the platforms, echoing what the rich, unmutated vamps above will become, is likely to stay with you for a long time.

Indeed, I can't remember the last time I saw such an elegant, classy, intellectual vampire flick. It genuinely is enough to bring you back to the genre after Twilight. I can think of no higher recommendation.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see this site is back in action - been to long! This indeed does look like a cut above the rest. Nice to see some thought has been put in and not just another gore-fest with a flimsy plot line.

    Good post guys