Daybreakers bucks the trend of modern day Vampire film with a nod to science fiction whilst going back to the dark and sinister.
The first thing you notice about Daybreakers is the dark and stylised aesthetic. It pulled me into the film, along with the world it slowly unfolded for me. It’s all set in very modern and corporate type settings, illustrating a kind of dark mood to a society driven by vampires.
This society is very much on verge of crisis. With vampires having taken over, the minority of humans are quickly becoming extinct and therefore the blood supply is running out. It has some parallels with real life; with economic crisis, food or oil shortages as well as global warming and climate change.
And I felt that it dealt with this with class. The division between the rich and poor was an obvious element to the world with those unable to afford the dwindling blood supply suffering.
Add to this the richer elements like Charles, played by Sam Neil. He heads a company researching a blood substitute but remarks “There will always be those willing to pay more for the real thing.” And Charles is evil. Not only did I enjoy the rich being the bad guy, but it’s a return to vampires as vicious and evil characters unlike the current trend of vampires like in Twilight.
I found the conflict between Edward and Charles as well as the underlying crisis within the society much more interesting than the more central plot which was with Edward fleeing with the humans and to help them find a cure to Vampirism.
Part of it may have been that I’m not much of a fan of Claudia Karvan, but there wasn’t a lot of inner conflict with this thread.
Another aspect that had more conflict was between Edward and his brother Frankie, who was in the army and had the job of trying to hunt humans. That kind of battle between Edward trying to regain his humanity and Frankie being faced with that and the purge of the ‘Subsiders’ – those that were mutated due to being starved of blood – made references to soldiers turning against the Iraq war.
There were lots of these seamless nods to real world events though they were never so obvious or jarred with the storyline. It all fit within the world and the story.
I’d have to say that the ending was a bit sudden and didn’t tie up a lot, but otherwise this was a great movie with the return of vampires as being sinister and a movie that relates to the world in a way I can agree with.