Midnight Madness day 2: Daybreakers (2009)

Throughout TIFF, Kris and Joe will be doing "shared" reviews, in which we'll offer our opinions on a particular film in a single post. This is day 2.


Spierig Brothers rebound from their fun but flawed Undead to bring us Daybreakers, a vision of a world 10 years hence in which vampires have overrun the planet (but they're urbane vamps) and humans are the minority.  However, dwindling blood supplies and a failure to find a synthetic substitute leads the vampires to more extreme measures....Cool concept, and was carried out kinda like Dark City with vamps.

Some real cool ideas about vamps changing back into humans and dwindling blood supplies (insert water/oil/economic meltdown metaphor here).  Excellent cast with Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe standing out for me. I love Sam Neill.  He's the sexiest man alive.

Anyways, fun film, if a bit shallow, but some good jump scares, solid acting, and a couple cool ideas make Daybreakers an above average entry into the vampire canon.  Not a great film, but it fit the bill, and I'm glad to have seen it.  (Sorry for the lazy review, I've got a wedding to go to in 20 minutes and this stain isn't coming out of my jacket...Just read Kris' review for a nice take on the film).  Also, look for a guest reviewer tomorrow, as Kendall will be attending George Romero's newest in my stead.

-the coelacanth


Had enough of Vampire movies yet? Cause i have! well... after Daybreakers that is.

Daybreakers is a sci-fi Vampire pic set in the future, where humans are vastly outnumbered by the Vamps. This has lead to a dwindling food supply for the Vampires who are desperately seeking a solution to save their civilization.

The strength of the film lies in the Dystopian depiction of earth's future run by Vampires. Stylistically it's reminiscent of Gattica and Dark City, sort of a hybrid of those two but with vampires. You really get the sense of a backwards world. The way the city is alive at night but bare at noon. Also nice touches like Starbucks style coffee shops that serve lattes with your favourite type of blood, and Subwalks instead of Subways to get Vamps around by day. These scenes of Vampires living in a society on the verge of collapse is what makes Daybreakers stand out from your run of the mill Vampire flick.

It's when the film veers away from this Dystopia that it begins to drag on and feel more generic. Which is also how i feel about Gattica and Dark City.

The three leads hold their own, Ethan Hawke makes a great vampire. Willem Dafoe is, as always, kick ass. And Sam Neill is a god amongst men.

Daybreakers is a good movie, not a great one... which is too bad because it has some really great ideas going for it. I guess we'll see what the public thinks in January, I feel it may be a bit of vampire overload for the masses but we'll see.

For the screening the directors Michael and Peter Spierig were in attendance as well as Sam Neill to answer questions. I think Sam may have been drunk and i didn't get to ask him my one burning question; "Do you read Sutter Cane?"
Dafoe also showed up for a small appearance incognito as a press cameraman.

It was a fun night. Tonight we switch it up as Kendall and I take on a horde of zombies for Romero's Survival of the Dead... kinda sounds like this noon to ten shift I'm working.



Chandles said...

woah woah woah, I have to write a review? That wasn't part of the deal Joe!

I think I can muster up the energy though.

we'll see if Kris can after that heinous long shift though.

the coelacanth said...

so...? how bad was it?

La Sporgenza said...

Film number 2 from the TIFF's 2009 Midnight Madness program that, despite a decent cast, I'm never going to see.

Vampire said...

I liked the movie

Anonymous said...

I recently saw Daybreakers. While there are a few scenes that are visually engaging, the movie was lack luster with characters and story. I saw the movie with my wife and we both thought that there was more to it but was cut out. The BEST part of the film is the portrayal of the Corporate leadership as the BLOODSUCKERS that they are!!

Dropkick said...

i feel the same mysterious one. For a film about vampires you spend way too much time in the sun with puny humans. I agree that the best scenes were the ones that dealt with the corporation and the dwindling resources. that was gold. and every scene Sam Neil was in.

Tom said...

I personally found Daybreakers to be an interesting concept. In fact saw a Daybreakers poster the other day took a picture of it with my iphone with this app... I think it's called getfugu. Anyway, came up with some rather good links to additional material, website, etc.