Another film with vampires (actual vampires, these ones do not sparkle and they have fangs), however what sets Daybreakers apart from the rest is that it is something original and there are things here which have not been done before, and I for one really enjoyed the heck out of that! In the world of Daybreakers (set in 2019) vampires have taken over, humans are almost extinct which causes a problem because human blood is what the vampires need to live off. They are trying to make an alternative to blood with not much luck and with supply running out, the human resistance want to find a way to survive and get rid of the vampires. Well that is my awful explanation of it but I do not want to go into detail, as I think this is best seen without too much prior knowledge.
The world in which Daybreakers is set is a good one, the cinematography I thought was really well done. The way they made the contract between day and night, the different moods for the different parts of the day, it all really worked well. I loved how they had their cars set up for day time travelling, that was smart. The actual look of the vampires was good as well, I liked the creepy looking eyes (Notice how that didn’t work in Twilight and they just looked hilarious?). This film isn’t light on the gore and blood either, it really does deliver and there are some really nasty scenes, and they were really well done and I for one got a kick out of it. The vampire mythos they had here also worked pretty well for me, but I can’t say too much because that would be heading into spoiler territory.
Acting wise, it was pretty solid too. Ethan Hawke worked for me as Edward (yes really they went with that name), I have missed seeing him actually, I have always thought he was a good actor. Sam Neill hams it up as the some what bad guy, but he worked and I enjoyed his performance. Claudia Karvan has always been one of my favourite Australian actresses (Loved her in her early films like The Heartbreak Kid and Dating The Enemy) and it was awesome to not only see her in a bigger film but also a horror film. She worked quite well as Audrey and I really liked her. Isabelle Lucas did not have much to do, which suited me just fine as I really cannot stand her, but it was a wasted role and it amounted to nothing in the end. Vince Colosimo had a small role and I would have liked it to have been a bit bigger, I thought he was actually pretty good. Michael Dorman as Edward’s brother was both on and off for me, I felt strong about the brother’s relationship and I would have liked for it to have been explored a little more. He really got better towards the second half though, which was good to see. Willem Dafeo really worked, and I liked him, he got all the one liners and he pulled them off so well. You really liked his character straight away, and he had good chemistry with Claudia and Ethan as well, so the trio of characters worked really well and it needed to work.
Daybreakers is a better then average entry into the vampire genre, which I greatly welcome. It was nice to see something different, a different take on vampires and the situation. It does have a few similarities with True Blood but not much, just in the way that vampires are obviously known and also the blood substitute. Better to have things in common with True Blood then something else, but that is where the similarities end. The pacing of the film I thought worked really well and it has a good running time. I would actually love to see a prequel and see how the vampires took over and humans got to be almost 5% of the population. I would recommend this to genre fans, I don’t think you will be disappointed, and as always help out those Australian filmmakers!