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original title: Daybreakers
duration: 1h 38min
tags: In 2019, the most precious natural resource... is us.
keywords: pandemic, epidemic, selfexperimentation, vampire, blood, year2019, rationing, vampiresociety, plague, australiansciencefiction, australiansupernatural, australianfantasy, australianhorror, vomiting, c
Directed and written by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig who turned out the great looking but dramatically messy The Undead about a meteor that turns a small town into zombies, we're once more into the great looking but dramatically odd territory. Much of the film looks like a vampire film noir. It looks like a Sam Spade will come wandering in at any moment. The horror sequences are bloody and frightening, the action is often amazing. The problem here is the story. While its not all over the place like the directors' earlier film it does have plot holes and at times lurches from things to thing in a none too natural manner. I was frequently wanting to stop and ask questions about why and how since little seems clear unless you just take it all on faith. I couldn't do that because the film was asking me to believe too many impossible things. the result was I was loving the pieces but only kind of liking the whole.
I'd wait for home video. Daybreakers is a decent little film but is far more interesting for what it says about the inbred state of modern genre culture. On the one hand, it demonstrates how you can do much more interesting things within the confines of a genre. On the other hand, it symbolizes how much genre storytelling has become little more than role playing-style world creating.
This film is set roughly 10 years after an outbreak of vampirism ravaged the world. Over 95% of the human population has become blood suckers, with the consequence that there aren't enough humans left to feed upon. Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) is the chief hematologist for the corporation that handles the blood supply for the vampiric population and is desperately searching for a blood substitute before there isn't a single drop of the red stuff left. The search is desperate because it turns out that when vampires are deprived of blood, they turn into beastly Nosferatu-like creatures called "subsiders" who will feast on humans, other vampires and even themselves.
Edward, however, is a conflicted vampire and feels sympathy for normal humans