Vampires Dump the Status Quo in Daybreakers

Agnes Constante

In a time where the word “vampire” is often synonymous with mainstream movies and television productions like the Twilight Saga, “True Blood” or “The Vampire Diaries,” it’s nice to know that there are still vampire stories out there that don’t follow the status quo.

“Daybreakers” is an intriguing film set in the year 2019 where almost all humans have become vampires. During this time the human population has dwindled to less than 5 percent, significantly limiting the supply of blood available to vampires. This scarcity puts them in a predicament that leads them to resorting to unusual means, including the digging up graves, in order to obtain blood in dead humans.

With one company primarily responsible for providing blood, it also becomes responsible for finding a viable substitute before vampires become horrific blood-deprived creatures.

Vampire researcher Edward Dalton, played by Ethan Hawke (“Taking Lives,” 2004) who works for the primary blood-supplying company, sympathizes with humans and refuses to drink their blood. He agrees with his boss, Charles Bromley, (Sam Neill, “Perfect Strangers,” 2004), to continue to conduct research for a possible substitute if the company agrees to cease the hunting of humans. Since the institution is a business, Bromley bluntly says he cannot promise this. He says that while an adequate substitute will sustain the population, there will always be those who will be willing to pay more for real blood.

In an encounter with a small group of humans, Dalton discovers a solution that could potentially repopulate the human race. Alongside two human friends, Lionel (William Dafoe, “Spider-Man 3,” 2007) and Ellie (Emma Randall, “Undead,” 2005), Dalton seeks to spread what the three believe to be a cure to the problem at hand. However, the road in trying to implement the possible solution involves a great number of challenges and deaths.

“Daybreakers” is a film sci-fi fanatics will find relatively interesting. The plot was well thought out and brothers Michael and Peter Spierig (“Undead,” 2005), who both directed and wrote the screenplay, did an excellent job in creating a futuristic world of vampires.

Like most vamp flicks, the vampires in the film are immortal, have no reflection, have oddly colored irises and must avoid exposure to sunlight or they burn to death.

What’s even more amusing is that they drink coffee, which makes them more relatable to audiences.

Vamp coffee consists of a certain percentage of blood. Since humans have become scarce, the amount of blood in commercial coffee eventually falls to 5 percent, which causes consumers to become hysterical.

The hysteria in this instance is conveyed realistically, as vampires are shown raiding the coffee stand for packs of blood that would be used for the beverage.

The technology in 2019 as shown in the movie allows the audience to experience the futuristic setting. Vampires drive cars with multiple digital screens to ensure a safe drive and are equipped with features like automatic tire inflation. Their homes are also equipped with sophisticated security systems that announce security breaches, such as when a door is ajar.

These elements humanize the vampires and add considerably to the film, making it a very well-crafted one.

Acting in the film is nothing remarkable. However, the plot doesn’t really require any Oscar-worthy performances and generally conceals this shortfall.

Unlike the popular Twilight franchise, “Daybreakers” is void of any romantic moments, so audiences should hold little to no expectations in this area.

The film isn’t necessarily a must-see, but it isn’t one to avoid either. If the scenario of blood-deficient vampires becoming hysterical and scrambling to figure out how to repopulate the human race, an average suspense film that concludes nicely or a vampire movie that strays from Twilight and the like storylines sounds interesting, then “Daybreakers” is worth the watch.

“Daybreakers” is rated R for strong bloody violence, language and brief nudity. It is distributed by Lionsgate and has a runtime of 98 minutes.