Ethan Hawke plays Ed Dalton, an immortal hematologist who is working on a blood-substitute for the ever-growing vampire population. The bloodsuckers are running out of victims to suck and so it's up to a big conglomerate to step in and make a killing (so to speak).
I first saw Daybreakers in anticipation of its theatrical release back in January. It was the first horror movie of 2010, and I found it reasonably enjoyable — here's my review, which is more in-depth on the plot that this will be. The things I took issue with (its presumably unintended tonal shifts between dour silence and shrill hyperbole) where much-less pronounced on the small screen, making for a more steady rolling viewing experience. Basically, I liked it a lot better the second time around.
One thing that hasn't changed from big- to small- screen is the impact of the visuals — it's a horror movie from a scientific standpoint about a vampiric outbreak but unlike the begrimed, post-apocalyptic world of, say, 28 Days Later, the stunningly detailed and lavish homeland of the vamps in this movie is much more along the lines of Guillermo Del Toro's Blade II or anything adapted from a Philip K. Dick novel. Everything from the subway sets to art deco cufflinks are sweet eye-candy. Hawke is good as the brooding undead unhappy with his lot in the afterlife, and he's nicely supported by Sam Neill as the evil corporate fat-cat vampire and Willem Dafoe as a leader of the rag-tag human revolution. What's more, the film is VERY gory (especially if you choose the "vampire" menu option over the "human" one on the DVD).
When it comes to extras, there's a casket-full. There is a commentary by the directors (The Spierig Brothers), plus what is the most in-depth, layered and detailed Making-of documentary I've seen in ages! Even though I don't think the movie itself warrants that much porous coverage, I think aspiring filmmakers and gadget-geeks will absolutely love it. I don't have the hours on tap to watch every single thing, but what I saw was genuinely interesting, entertaining and informative. Each segment — from early preproduction in the Spieirig Brothers' modest apartment in Australia, to the big U.S. Lionsgate theatrical release 4 years later — is produced with visual pizzazz and smart, judicious edits which help keep the flow of info moving right along. It's a really good doc on the process of filmmaking, especially as it relates to the horror and science fiction genres.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson