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DAYBREAKERS

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:   98 minutes, audio commentary, making-of documentary, original theatrical trailer

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Digital EX

Subtitles:  English, Spanish

 

STUDIO:  Lionsgate/ Australia Film Finance Commission/ Furst Films

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 1-8-2010

DVD RELEASE DATE:  5-11-2010

It is 2019.  Humanity is an endangered species.  Most of the world has become vampires while humans are hunted down (and farmed for blood).   The vampire world is facing a crisis.  They must find a blood substitute because blood supplies are dangerously low (expected to run out by the end of the month).  Some vampires have degenerated into batlike beasts due to lack of feeding on blood.   Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke), a hematologist, hates he is a vampire and feels sympathy for the humans.  He is on the team to develop a blood substitute while his brother is part of the human hunting squads. 

 

One night, Dalton accidentally crashes his car into a vehicle containing humans.  He decides to protect them from the police and let them run off.   Soon, one of the humans tracks him down to his home and says she needs his help in developing a cure to turn vampires back into humans because her leader has transformed back into a human from vampire.  Dalton’s boss wants to maintain the status quo even when a blood substitute is found and he doesn’t care for the cure to vampirism.   Soon, Dalton must chose between the world of humanity and the world of vampires.

 

DAYBREAKERS is the type of film I haven’t made my mind up about.  The Spierig Brothers have created a very dark world where vampires live and looks too much like today’s world.   It has an excellent set-up for an interesting film world which I wished the filmmakers would have explored more.  The film is all about pushing the plot forward despite the film’s small attempts at character development like Dalton’s boss finally catching up with his daughter who has been on the run (she didn’t want to be a vampire and thinks daddy is a monster).  The finale is like putting a zombie film in the middle of a vampire film.   DAYBREAKERS doesn’t have enough of a developed story.  It’s like a skeleton story that could have been fleshed out more and had a more satisfying conclusion (or better set-up for a sequel).  Instead, the film is just interesting to look like with plenty of gore for gore fiends and this film may delight horror fans (despite the cheap jumps used by a vampire bat flashing across the screen as the first and last image of the film.  I did enjoy it the second time more when I saw it on DVD though.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Co-Directors Peter and Michael Spierig, and Creature Designer Steven Boyle deliver an audio commentary for the film. 

 

However, the best extra is the 85-minute making-of documentary, MAKING OF DAYBREAKERS, which details the film from development to pre-production to production to post-production.   See concept artwork, stunt training, and how they filmed one little extra piece for the ending.   Also the original theatrical trailer is on the disc with previews for other Lionsgate films.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   DAYBREAKERS is an interesting take on the vampire genre, but I wish they developed it out more.  The making-of documentary is a good extra to watch.

 

 the DVD review is (c)5-15-2010 David Blackwell (movie review taken from 1-10/1-12-2010 review)  and cannot be reprinted without permission.   No vampires or humans were harmed during or after the writing of this review.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com