Daybreakers stars Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill. Hawkes plays Edward Dalton, a hematologist working for Sam Neill, trying to find a blood substitute to the world’s ever-shrinking human blood shortage for the global vampiric population. That is, until he is approached by Willem Dafoe’s Elvis with the prospect of something better than a substitute – a cure.
The movie is decent enough, but it starts to rush the ending, having characters jump around and becoming overall sloppy with some of its internal logic. Plus, while I tend to enjoy Willem Dafoe, the couple of instances he tries to throw on a Southern accent for his redneck mechanic/savior of humanity left me with an attention-breaking laugh.
The thing I did enjoy about the film though is the world and logic building within the first half. The actual society after the vampire outbreak has redeveloped to make a pretty cushy lifestyle for our bloodsucking friends, completely out in the open too. In night hours, at least.
I think back to every other vampire movie, where the vampire society is a shadowy, secret one. Often the main villain with be a rogue vampire, an outlier that runs counter to “conventional” thought. He believes that vampires should rule humanity and actually be the dominate species and society out in the open, instead of simply pulling invisible strings. After all, vampires are physically superior, immortal, dress nice and chicks dig them.
In this movies, that’s just what vampires do. They take over. Humans either choose eternal life and a really pale complexion, or they resist, are driven under ground and are eventually hunted for food. Decisions, decisions… guess what most pick.
The world is actually well adjusted for dealing with the drawbacks of vampiric life, and this is best represented in their cars. Can’t drive in the sun? No problem with polarizing windows that go opaque and cameras that show you the road. Can’t see your reflection in your vanity mirror to fix your make up? Let’s replace it with a special video camera and monitor so you can just watch the video of yourself.
It’s a neat exercise, actually making vampires the dominant species. But again, the movie does start to fall apart at the end. The cure in particular is particularly awkward but still one I’ve never seen used. Either way, when you have Willem Dafoe driving off into the sunrise in the Bandit’s Poniac Firebird Trans Am, it qualifies as a good end.