Oh, shoot, this was supposed to be an Avatar review.
Well, since I’m already on a roll…
I saw Daybreakers opening day, last Friday. I’d seen the trailers, so I knew I wanted to see the movie. I’m a vampire geek, I’ll admit it. (It’s true, okay. Wanna fight about it?) Ever since reading Interview with a Vampire as a little black-haired kid in Perrysburg, Ohio, I’ve been in love with the blood-suckers. That being said, I enjoy smart blood-sucker movies. I understand the dumb ones. I know why Twilight has such charisma. (It’s because of the jailbait, right?) I know why there are so many spin-offs of Dracula. (It’s because of the damn sexy casts of characters, right?) I guess I’m saying that in most vamp flicks, we watch ‘em for the pretty people—not necessarily for a thought-provoking plotline. In this broad-sweeping stereotype, Daybreakers is different. Daybreakers is smart, and when I left the theater, I was kind of freaked out.
By the year 2019, a plague will ravage the human race and turn most of us into vampires. There are positives. We’ll all have freaky yellow eyes. We’ll have cool fangs. We’ll all live forever, and I imagine we will cut way back on pollution. There are negatives. For one, we’ll all LIVE FOREVER, and since there are so few humans left, we will also run out of our food source, blood. This is the conflict at the center of Daybreakers. The blood is almost gone, so hematologist Edward Dalton (played by the ever melancholy Ethan Hawke) has to find a blood substitute.
The blood substitute medical trial scene is one of my favorites. (EWWWWWWWWWWWW!) I won’t give away the whole thing. I will say that this “trial” scene is a precursor for the total grossness of this flick. Not for the faint of heart, there is plenty of blood spatter in this movie. (Kind of looked like strawberry jelly.) But the epic MEDICAL TRIAL SCENE. “I feel better now,” followed by…I can’t give away the whole thing. But like I said, this scene is a precursor. Daybreakers is gross. The things that freaked me out the most were the sub-siders. These are vamps who’ve begun to starve. They’ve gone crazy, and in going crazy, they turn into these slimy, winged, inhuman creatures that, upon recollection of certain scenes, have to this day made me put down my sandwich and say, “Huh, I’m not hungry anymore.”
Back to the smarts of Daybreakers…Willem Dafoe (hard to not picture him prancing around in Boondock Saints) and Claudia Karvan (hot in that Catherine Keener sort of way) play humans searching for a vampire CURE. They convince Ethan Hawke to help them, and as we discover, Ethan is happy to help since he hates being a vampire anyway. So they run and they run, searching for the cure, hiding from the military (whose sole function is to hunt humans), and things happen and…
See, here’s the problem: I can’t really tell you anymore. I don’t want to be a spoiler. Going into it, I knew very little about Daybreakers. I knew Ethan Hawke was in it. I knew vampires were in it. I knew the cinematography (all navy and black) looked cool (and it WAS cool), but that was all I knew. So I don’t want to tell you much more. I will say that Daybreakers was a smart, scary, GROSS vampire movie. I will also say that in the vein of True Blood, Daybreakers equates could-happen scenarios into science fiction. In the television series True Blood, the vampires come out of hiding, and the show treats this coming out similarly to the Civil Right movement of the past—vampires getting unfair treatment from law enforcement, vampires not being allowed to vote, vampires being segregated, etc.
Daybreakers looks to the future, but it is easy to imagine this “vampire plague” as an actual plague somewhere down the line. Like the characters of Daybreakers, we will all freak out. There will be shortages. There will be violence and murder. We will kill each other to survive. In this parallel, Daybreakers makes you think. It’s scary, because you gotta realize, maybe we could get there someday. Maybe the plague won’t be vampire, but it will be something. So, I guess, see this movie. See it if you like vampires. See it if you like gore. See it if you want to witness what could happen to our society in a crisis. But don’t worry. We’ll be okay. At least, until 2019.