Ready for more vampires? Of course you are! No one ever gets sick of them, do they? Hope not because Hollywood isn’t giving until they’ve drained every last cinematic drop from them. Daybreakers has tried to break the mold by making vampires the new human race. Sounds interesting enough, but did they pull it off? It’s debatable, let’s take a look…
Warning: There are some minor spoilers ahead. For those of you who know my reviews, you know that normally I try to avoid all spoilers entirely, but unfortunately I feel like they are both pertinent to the discussion of this film and chances are won’t really effect your viewing experience.
- Directors/Writers: Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
- Starring: Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan, Isabel Lucas
- Cinematography: Ben Nott
- Music: Christopher Gordon
- The Idea: It seems like we already live in a world full of vampires with Twilight, Let Me In, True Blood, Vampire Diaries (and the list continues) dominating our cinemas, TVs and the sides of many buses, so it’s refreshing to see someone try to take a new perspective on the whole craze and come up with a new world for vampires.
- The Details: To further on the “idea” of the film, they came up with a number of great details that a vampire world would have such as lot of teeth whitening ads, a problem with forest fires (because they burst into flames in the day and can’t put out the fires), and cars that have black-out windows so that they can drive in the day. There was obviously someone who paid attention to details and got creative with it.
- SFX (part of the time): Some of the special effects were kick-ass and others were not. You could tell when and where they spent their money and when they ran out of it. That being said, when they spent it they did a great job with it. If only someone had given them enough to make the whole film look as good as certain moments.
- Social-Political Issues: Instead of just making this a cheesy vampire film, they attempt to take on some larger issues that are pertinent to our modern society such as world hunger and a trigger happy military. Although it was nice that they went there, some of the issues felt a bit shoe-horned and therefore never reached there full potential. Nice effort though!
Aside from not having enough money and some sound problems (including Ethan Hawke saying a line when his lips weren’t moving- GASP! ) the main problems that I had with the film stemmed from breaking the normal vampire rules without justification. Lets take a look…
Breaking the Rules:
- They can eat food and drink things others than blood. They serve coffee with 95% coffee, 5% blood and a dash of cream. The costumers are not happy but they’re able to drink it. How is this possible? They’re dead! Don’t even get me started on the cakes and muffins they have laid out.
- They can’t heal themselves, or at least not quickly. They have bandages on their arms, cuts, scars, and therefore are vulnerable.
- You can have animal vampires, which I’m guessing means that animals can go to heaven and hell, because if not, how could they be vampires? Isn’t the point that your soul is damned? Also, how are animals being turned? Are people turning them? That kind of takes away from the sexy vampire image we normally have in our heads.
- The only thing it takes to turn you into a vampire is one bite. There’s no great ceremony, no death, no burial no nothing. Just one bite and a big suck.
- They’re not especially strong. I get that in a world full of vampires, one is not much stronger than the other, but they’re also not that much stronger than humans.
Bottom Line: The only thing these vampires have are fangs, contact lenses, and immortality. They have none of the sexuality, blood-lust, or violent inclinations that make vampires so much fun to watch.
Although they had some moments where things jump out at you, the film was not nearly as scary as it needed to be. It’s an interesting idea but it’s not very well executed and the story has a number of holes that are hard to look past. That being said, I’d watch it again before I watched Twilight!
Daybreakers is theaters January 8th