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A 2010 vampire film written and directed by Peter and Michael Spierig.

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A moderately entertaining Vampire movie that has both clever ideas and some missteps

  • Feb 28, 2011
Daybreakers is a movie with Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill and Willem Defoe

It's the near future. A rapidly dwindling resource is causing increasing disruptions to society, with the have-nots suffering from increasing disruptions of a supply that once seemed infinite, but now is proving all too fragile. The creation of substitutes is big business but there are those who want the original, and the substitutes are not working as well as one might hope. Society is unraveling on the edges and something has got to change, something has to be done, or else societal collapse is a very real threat.

So what is the resource? Oil? Water?

Not exactly.

In Daybreakers the commodity is blood and the population of the Earth is now primarily...vampires. The vampires have taken over the planet, with humans an valuable commodity and a dwindling resource all the same. Companies like Bromley Marks (run by an oily Sam Neill) where our protagonist Edward Dalton(Hawke) is employed works on substitutes and also farms regular humans in machines designed to get every last drop of that precious blood. Animal blood is mentioned as a common substitute, but even that is a dwindling resource, too.

A chance encounter between Hawke and some humans on the run (led by Willem Defoe) leads Dalton to a discovery that could change this precarious situation. But some, including Hawke's brother, like things exactly the way they are...

Daybreakers isn't a groundbreaking vampire fantasy movie, and its at times only serviceable and shopworn. There are some interesting conceits and thoughts put into the film as to how a society full of vampires would adapt. Cars with tinted windows and cameras to allow for daytime driving, underground passageways to allow movement in cities (sort of a dark twin to Minneapolis skyways) and more. I appreciated these touches.

On the other hand, for all of this enthusiasm in worldbuilding, the movie falls down in some of that worldbuilding. Hints in the corners of the picture suggest that a bat caused the plague to turn the world into vampires. That suggests a biological vampirism a la I am Legend. However, the vampires react to sunlight in a dramatic way as if they were supernatural vampires. Later in the movie, we see that stakes through the heart do the same thing. So which is it--supernatural or biological vampires? Also, the ending is a bit too pat, although perhaps I need to remember the MST3K mantra and realize that an uplifting ending is the rule, not the exception, in Hollywood.

The acting is good, the leads do a decent job, and the script gives us just enough to understand where the characters are coming from. Even Sam Neill's Bromley, as the antagonist, gets enough character development to allow the audience to understand why he acts the way he does. T

here seems to be a truncated or missing scene that causes a major event in the movie to become a tell instead of a show, which disappointed me. Overall, though, I was entertained. Daybreakers is not a groundbreaking movie, but its a decently crafted movie. Its not worth a purchase, but is okay as a rental.

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March 08, 2011
Yeah, I'm one of the few people that saw this flick when it ran theatrically, and I pretty much agree with your take on it overall. It was a pretty solid vampire flick with a twist, except up until the ending when it just seems to descend into a "blood'n'gore" fest that ends a bit too tidy. It was a pretty interesting 'universe' to see, though, and I think had they stayed true to exploring their own mythology, they could've kept the door open for big-time follow-ups, but ... the way they left things? I got the feeling right away that there could inevitably be some knock-off direct-to-DVD sequel that wouldn't be worth the time and effort. It's DEFINITELY worth a rental, though. I think most folks would be surprised with how much thought went into the film.
More Daybreakers reviews
review by . January 05, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
A good movie, but not as good as I was expecting.
Ok so if you read my Quick tip  you know that from the get go I’ve wanted to see this movie it looked very cool and I love the premise it’s looked very interesting and different. Unfortunately I never got to see this in theaters but I eventually found it on DVD. (HMV FTW)          Daybreakers concerns a world where 90% of the population are vampires, the remaining humans are either given a choice to be turned or be hunted for their blood. …
review by . January 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
                    We’ve all seen movies that portray vampires as seductive bloodsuckers, savagely feral creatures, zombie-like interpretations, martial arts vampires, and even love-sick ones. One may argue that the vampire genre is running out of ideas. Movies have to tried to reinvent the genre in different ways; now writer/directors Peter and Michael Spierig takes another stab at making something …
review by . July 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      DAYBREAKERS      You know vampires have become a huge thing again which I guess makes me happy since I love them. The thing is, for the most part it is not the vampires I like, today's vampires seem to be all in love and twinkle in the sunlight. What ever happened to the guys that were evil and would um let's say burn in the sunlight. Well let me stop being so one dimensional since I tend to think I am all for something new. With that said there …
review by . March 25, 2011
As soon as the trailer was released for Daybreakers I eagerly anticipated it's release. I was not sure what to expect, however the trailer caught my attention in a way that left me always wanting to search for more footage and featurettes online. Two hours after entering the theater I exited both happy with the final film and disgusted by the simple fact that anyone could come up with such a film. It was a pornography of blood, guts and gore with such graphic cinematography that not only could …
review by . May 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) is a reluctant vampire in a world where humans have become rare. It's a clever idea: if there really were vampires and they could spread like a virus, why wouldn't they soon run the world rather than slink around in shadows? It turns out this film shows exactly why, if they're smart, vampires would stay out of sight and wouldn't want to spread. Vampires do rule the world in this film, and human beings are the ones who have to creep about during the day, hidden as best …
review by . February 18, 2010
Daybreakers breaks the mold of traditonal vampire flicks.....
Science Fiction has set bold new standards for films all across the board from action to romance, crime to comedy,  it wasn't until 1982 that  one of cinema's oldest genres, film noir was blended to create a  whole new sub genre in the Science Fiction world, Sci-Fi noir and the two films pioneered this sub genre were Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" and Alex Proyas' "Dark City", they pushed the bar for film making  and propelled this young genre into new heights …
review by . April 30, 2010
Set in the future, Vampires rule and have toppled man. They have made the world fit their needs but they have turned so many that the problem is they have exhausted the human blood supply and now the poorer Vampires are turning into monsters while our reluctant hero works on a blood substitute.     Such a promising beginning in a visual setting. Enter the human resistance and things are still o.k. but start sliding downhill and all of a sudden it happens and the movie looses …
review by . April 06, 2010
 This was a film I went to see not really expecting that much. If anything I expected it to fit in with the typically bland trend of Vampire movies that seem to be growing in quantity in recent years. Daybreakers, however, adds something new to the agenda while taking advantage of the growing trend that has swept the Western world. Ethan Hawke is an actor with a very familiar name, but is someone you don't see very frequently on the big screen. Possibly his biggest role in the movie Training …
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
Another vampire flick amongst many others. The story is different and thats all it offers.
review by . January 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The year is 2019. Vampires make up most of the world's population, humanity having been transformed after from an epidemic that started ten years earlier. Any remaining humans are hunted and, if caught, are taken to corporations that harvest their blood. These corporations need all the help they can get; because so few humans are left, blood is in short supply, and when a vampire has no access to human blood, they mutate into violent winged beasts with virtually no mental capabilities. Pharmaceutical …
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About this movie


Daybreakers is a 2010 science fiction horror film written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. The film takes place in 2019, where a plague has turned most of the planet's human population into vampires. A vampiric corporation sets out to capture and farm the remaining humans while researching a blood substitute. Lead vampire hematologist Edward Dalton's (Ethan Hawke) work is interrupted by human survivors led by former vampire "Elvis" (Willem Dafoe), who has a cure that can save the human race.

Daybreakers premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released in the United Kingdom on 6 January 2010 and in North America on 8 January 2010. The film grossed over $40,000,000 and received a mixed critical reception.

The Plot

By 2019, a pandemic disease has turned most of the world's human population into vampires. As human numbers dwindle, the need for blood becomes desperate. When deprived of blood for extended periods, vampires degenerate into subsiders, aggressive bat-like creatures. Humans are captured and harvested in laboratory farms while scientists research a synthetic blood substitute to satisfy vampires' blood hunger. The main supplier of blood in the United States is the pharmaceutical company Bromley Marks, run by Charles Bromley (Sam Neill). Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) and Chris Caruso (Vince Colosimo) are hematologists working on the blood ...

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Genre: Horror
Release Date: 8 January 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 98 min.
Studio: Lionsgate Films
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