The vampire genre can be tough to make interesting since it’s been done so many times now. Daybreakers takes a unique approach in the storyline in that instead of the vampires living in the shadows, they’re out in the open and the regular humans are the ones in hiding. So imagine your normal world, only everyone’s a vampire. Humans are now hunted to end up like cattle; they’re the food source (ie, blood providers) hooked up to machines while living in what seems like a coma. From there, instead of restaurants serving food, they serve different blood types on the menu, there’s blood in the coffee, etc.
Trouble is, the blood supply is running out and the vamps that are out there starving are transforming into monsters with wings, more bat-like and vicious to boot. Ethan Hawke’s character works as a scientist for the biggest blood supplier in the world (think the blood version of Exxon); his goal is to come up with a synthetic substitute to save the human race. He goes on to find out that his company doesn’t necessarily have the best of intentions. Through his trials he stumbles on to a solution for the blood shortage but not one his company will be happy about. And the story goes from there…
Fairly well written, I say fairly because it does have some slow parts that are a little long to get through. It’s also very “A-typical” vampire-ish which was a bit disappointing. There were some cool innovative moments like the cars that have shields and video monitors for day driving since the sun is a bit of an issue for vampires. I guess I wanted more of that. Aesthetically it just wasn’t very innovative when they could’ve really gone for it with this concept.
The acting is OK, but no real standouts for me. Ethan Hawke is good but nothing we haven’t really seen before, same with Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill. Each character felt pretty generic.
All-in-all Daybreakers is worth a viewing but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again.
reviewed by Sean McKnight