Friday, 19 November 2010

Film Review: DAYBREAKERS (2009)

Writers/Directors: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig
Running time: 94 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK release date: 6th January 2010

Watched on DVD Friday 19th November 2010.


A film about vampires set in the not to distant future can’t be bad, can it? I liked the ‘Blade’ movies so this one should be good too, shouldn’t it? Well, it’s not bad, but at the same time it ain’t no ‘Blade’. More of my thoughts later, first here’s a short summary (haters of summaries please spontaneously combust… or more practically, just omit the next paragraph).

About ten years into the future nearly all of the world’s population has been turned into vampires. How this happened, we are not told, but only about five percent of the humans remain. The vampires catch them and farm them for their blood, but there is not enough to go around. Desperately searching for a substitute for human blood is Edward Dalton, a haematologist working for a pharmaceutical company lead by Charles Bromley. If vampires are deprived of blood for too long they become more like giant bats and this is seen as a retrograde step by those in charge. Edward is contacted by a group of humans, one of which, Lionel ‘Elvis’ Cormac, was once a vampire but was cured in a freak accident. The humans want Edward to help them recreate the conditions of the accident. He does so and is turned human again. He now has to convince the entire vampire population to do the same… or die.

There was obviously quite a bit of money spent on this movie. There are some great special effects and an awful lot of gore on view. Decent enough performances all round despite a rather weak script IMO. Even Willem Dafoe as Lionel ‘Elvis’ Cormac struggled at times, but still stood out above the rest. Ethan Hawke as Edward Dalton and Sam Neill as Charles Bromley were not really stretched by their roles, but did a good enough job. Honourable mentions go to Claudia Karvan as Audrey Bennett, Michael Dorman as Frankie Dalton and Isabel Lucas as Alison Bromley.

I liked the concept of this film; unfortunately the execution did not ultimately live up to my expectations. It was quite hard to identify with any of the characters and thus it was really hard to care who lived or died in the end. The effects are very well done but this ultimately didn’t make up for a rather flawed script. If you’re a hard-core vampire movie fan then I’m sure you’ll find some redeeming features here, I don’t fit into that category, and so, sadly, not recommended.

My score: 5.4/10

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