You all know by now that I am a HUGE vampire fan! Not only do I write about them, but I read and watch them as well.
I've been obsessed since I was a small child. I can't explain why, but out of all the Hollywood monsters out there, vampires never scared me. I was always intrigued by them.
Vampires have spanned the genres from horrific to romantic and everything in between.
Hollywood's most recent adaptation, Daybreakers, leans back towards the horrific and grotesque.
Set in the near-future, a disease of some kind has turned 90% of the words population into vampires.
Now, this is a wonderful twist on the standard theme. Rather than vampires hiding in the shadows, it's the humans who must do this.
For the most part I found the world believable. Vampires have adapted well, using technology to make a nocturnal lifestyle manageable. Inventions like subwalks, window shields, and daylight shields on cars allowed the vampires to function on some level during the daytime. Alarms and public service announcements warned the vampires of impending dawn, so they could prepare. It gave off a very realistic vibe! Kudos there!
Hollywood played on a few of the old themes with their vampires; no reflection, immortal, pale skin that sizzles and burns in the sun, etc...
They also seemed to burst into flames when staked. (I never did understand this but...okay, sure, I'll go along with it.)
Also, in keeping with the disease theme, they used a "once bitten" theory to transform humans to vampires. Every vampire you see has the tell-tale bite marks on their necks. Basically, one bite is all it takes to turn someone. Not one of my favorite theories but it works with the theme of a disease causing all of this.
My main gripe with the movie was the lack of explanation. I wasn't 100% sure of the rules of this vampire. It appeared they could still eat and drink regular food. Many times you saw them drinking coffee with blood in it. Also, they, the vampires seemed to love to smoke. (not a good thing to watch if you are trying to quit yourself.) The main character smokes in every scene through the first half of the movie.
I really wanted a smoke when I walked out of that theater.
Back on point...
I would have liked more details.
They teased the explanation about how this disease took over, but did not go into much detail about it. From what I understood, it all started with a bat, and the once bitten theory. One bite turns one human into a vamp, that vamp bites another human and turns them, and so on and so on...
It's 10 years after the disease has turned the population. Humans are hunted and farmed for their blood. (the blood collection system kind of reminded me of the Matrix.) They showed it a few times during the movie and it was creepy!
At the time the movie starts, the vampires are almost out of blood. Without blood they turn into these crazed, bat-like creatures called subsiders (might have misspelled that). This will be the fate of all vampires if a blood substitute is not found.
While the vampires search for a blood substitute, the remaining "free" humans are doing what they can to survive, and they have found a potential cure for vamprism.
The movie follows a small resistance movement of humans (led by Willem Dafoe) as well as a vampire and hematologist (played by the sexy Ethan Hawk), and the corporation that supplies blood for the vampire population (led by Sam Neill).
There is a major survival theme in this movie. It comes from both human and vampires alike. Humans of course, are the underdog here because they are the hunted, but the vampires are given sympathy too due to the scary consequences of what happens when they don't get the blood they need.
Blood substitute or cure, it's made very clear that something is needed. The vampires cannot continue on they way they have. Something has to change. Extinction of the human race would mean the eventual extinction of all...
Of course, it's never just as easy as finding and doing the right thing. We cannot forget the inherent greed of some . Greed and deceit, play a big part in this as well. There is an underlying message to us, people in the audience; greed and deceit will lead to the destruction of humanity.
But enough about the plot. You need to see for your self how it all ends. Suffice to say, the ending felt right with the theme and general dark nature of the move. I'd like to see if they take this story further and make a sequel.
Just a warning to the squeamish...
Through the movie there are many bloody and grotesque scenes! Vampires burst into flames in the sun. Burning vampires flesh melts from their skin and their bones disintegrate into ash right before your eyes. During some battle scenes, bodies explode, sending gore and blood in all directions. in true vampire fashion, blood is everywhere in this film!
The end has a very bloody and violent scene where the screen is practically filled with blood as bodies are ripped limb from limb as vampires feed in a frenzy.
As far as I am concerned, this movie is a must see for all vamp fans. I'd give it 4/5 stars. It was very entertaining and I will probably go see it again. I only had a few gripes and that was mainly in the details and lack of explanation of some things.
If you've seen it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.