The concept behind “Daybreakers” is reminiscent of “I Am Legend.” No, not the movie with Will Smith, but the book. In the near future, vampires have become the dominant society on the planet. Grocery stores are no longer relevant as human blood is the only form of nourishment that the vampires require. A vampire by the name of Charles Bromley (Sam Neill) is the head of a company that specializes in farming humans for their blood. The problem is that humans are nearing extinction and there aren’t that many of them left to farm. To keep his company afloat, he enlists the help of a scientist named Edward (Ethan Hawke) to come up with a blood supplement. Time and time again, Edward (poor choice of name) attempts to find another way of nourishing the vampire race, but fails…read more [BadGuyWins]
Usually guts and gore isn’t my thing. Horror films often fill me with concern over who is going to clean up the mess and as such, I tend to leave the more gnarly film reviews to our resident horror hound Sebastian Cordoba. But I decided to review new Australian vampire flick Daybreakers myself because it’s home grown content and I was keen to see what our fellow countrymen did with the vampire theme.
I must admit I was fearful – blood-sucking films are a dime a dozen at the moment and I was afraid that this film would simply be a shameful grab for a bite of the vampire pie. But thankfully Daybreakers is a shining light in this rather dimly lit genre…read more [TheVine]
The idea of a vampire like Bromley feeding off the misery of his own kind is an intriguing one. But the Spierig brothers never truly commit to dissecting the economics of supply and demand during a time of crisis. Then again, it’s just one of many ideas pursued by the Spierig Brothers that are never fully realized.
How about the allure of vampirism being too strong to resist? You don’t age and you live forever. Hey, I understandable why a girl would rather burn to death in the sunlight than remain trapped for eternity in the body of a 10-year-old year child. But why would Dalton – 35 (again for the 10th time) and upwardly mobile – resist being a vampire when his human-hunter brother Frankie (Michael Dorman) embraces it? Dalton’s actions reveal that vampires do not completely lose their moral code when their humanity is sucked right out of them. So what gives? Don’t look to the Spierigs for any insights. They like to think they are making a treatise on the human condition, but they’re actually too busy concocting new ways to kill off everyone in sight…read more [ShockTillYouDrop]
In “Daybreakers”, the latest film by the Spierig Brothers, the year is 2019 and vampires rule the earth. It’s ten years after a single bat bite triggered a viral epidemic that transformed the bulk of the human race into undead bloodsuckers, and society has altered accordingly. The streets are mostly empty during the day, blood is the chief economic good, and the purity of your plasma is directly proportionate to how much money you make. Ed (Ethan Hawke) is a vampire hematologist who has spent every year since the transformation trying to synthesize a plasma substitute; he’s hoping to give vampire-kind an alternative to blood-farming the few remaining humans left on the planet. After a chance encounter with a group of human resistance fighters that include ex-vampire Willem Dafoe, Ed is integrated into their efforts to perfect a cure for vampirism and stop the genocide of the human race…read more [Quiet Earth]
The Spierig brothers’ first feature, Undead, was a meagre homage to George A. Romero’s classic zombie movies, substituting uninspired ironic humour and gross-out laughs for genuine terror. With Daybreakers, their cinematic reference points are still easy to spot – this time it’s the dystopic futures of Blade Runner and Minority Report – but the writer-directors have abandoned cheap laughs for a tenser tone and more thoughtful approach.
Daybreakers draws much of its strength from its well-developed future society, absorbing the viewer in a fluorescent-light world that has been adapted to suit the nocturnal needs of vampires…read more [ScreenDaily]
From a low-budget zombie indie with no-name actors, to a vampire studio film with an A-list cast, The Spierig Brothers have taken a quantum leap with their exceptionally visceral follow-up effort to Undead. From the second an adolescent vampire girl meets an agonizing death by sunlight in the film’s opening prologue, it is clear this film is made for hard-core fans of the vampire sub-genre that appreciated cult films like Fright Night, Near Dark and The Lost Boys instead of the tween generation that would have expected to see the girl burst in sparkles instead of flames.
The brothers effectively showcase their gifted skills behind the camera through impressive and well conceived action and horror sequences which include a galvanizing car chase, a surprisingly beautiful sequence of cannibalism shot in slow motion, and one of the scariest vampire attacks ever to be shown on the big screen. It is fair to assume the duo has followed a meticulous storyboard and the hard work shows and pays off…read more [KillerFilm]
Daybreakers was good, intelligent fun with blood splatter and jump-out-of-your-seat moments that are lacking in horror films today. The Spierig brothers have done an exceptional job of taking the conventional vampire film and turning it into something new and fresh. They have plenty of moments where they go for the jugular, but if you were to take their story and replace human blood with oil, you can argue it is a social commentary on how humans would react when cut off their most valued resource.
Plenty of action – including some cool car chase scenes – and at least 10 jump-out-of-your-seat moments, Daybreakers delivers on bringing a bloody good story packed with severed limbs, chopped off heads and (of course) the burning of vampire skin when exposed to sunlight. I would be remiss if I didn’t also note some incredible visuals also. A scene in the subway where the lights routinely go out and the waiting patrons all have the red beady eyes was a highlight…read more [KillerReviews]
Take the futuristic corporate malfeasance of “The Matrix” and the race to find the post-plague cure of “28 Days Later,” add vampires, and you’ve got “Daybreakers,” the sophomore feature for twin Aussie writer-directors Michael and Peter Spierig (following cheeky 2003 zombie flick “Undead”). The novel hook has nearly all humanity turned vamp, with the mortal population — and their valuable blood — thus nearing extinction. However, the script doesn’t wring many surprises or much character involvement from the premise, and the brothers’ helming, while slick, is short on scares, action setpieces and humor. Lionsgate plans a January Stateside release for this Australia-U.S. co-production; prospects look decent but unspectacular in all markets…read more [Variety]
I don’t want to oversell the commentary of Daybreakers, but it’s a huge part of what made the film work for me. The main story – Edward trying to find a cure – is clunky, and there’s a side story or two that never quite gel. For those less enthralled with the world the Spierigs have created, these stunted stories could be deal-breakers. But for me they’re more than made up for by excellent action scenes – many of which are wonderfully wet – and strong character work by a trio of seasoned actors. Ethan Hawke does a lot of his Ethan Hawke thing – wounded, quiet, greasy – but for me it works in the role. More interesting is Sam Neill as the bad guy with a slight conscience, and Willem Dafoe as the human survivor who holds the key to the future. Dafoe has made a weird choice to play his character with a Southern accent that comes in and out, but that almost feels intentional. His character calls himself Elvis, and has an affinity for old muscle cars, so it’s easy to buy that the accent is a put on. Neill’s corporate baddie, Bromley, is one of those great bad guys who always keeps his cool, and who is always one step ahead of the heroes. I wish that Neill and Dafoe had scenes together, since they’re coming at their characters from such opposite ends, which I think would have created something really explosive…read more [CHUD]