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A Movie a Week #2: Daybreakers

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Good Vampire movies have become a rarity these days. We live in a world where audiences would rather see the likes of Edward Cullen and True Blood, demoting the status of neck-biters to nothing more than pin-ups for the bedroom walls of teen girls. But don’t give up all hope for these once icons of horror, Daybreakers – the post apocalyptic twist on the Vampire genre is here to remind us all why we were afraid of the dark.

The Year is 2019.  The majority of the world’s population have been turned into bloodsuckers and the society has changed.  Blood is now a major commodity, sold in stores, mixed into coffee – it’s the currency of this dark new world, and with the remaining humans fast becoming an endangered species, it’s not long until it starts running out.  The handful of survivors live in fear of being captured and farmed for blood in huge industrial processing plants, all the while trying to uncover a cure for the Vampire epidemic which has overrun the planet.

But the end is in sight for this blood guzzling alternate earth.  As their supply of clean blood dwindles, Vamp scientists discover that if a blood substitute isn’t found fast, the whole undead population will de-evolve into subhuman bat like creatures, snarling and desperate for blood.  It’s the job of reluctant Vampire and blood expert Edward to find a cure, teaming up with a group of rebel humans, he soon discovers that they may have found the key to the survival of the human race.

Only three movies in, directing duo Michael and Peter Spierig go all out to prove they have what it takes to create a compelling and stylised tech-noir thriller.  The vampire terrain on display in Daybreakers is extremely detailed and well thought out – from U.V repellent cars to the Sub-walk, an underground walkway for daytime travel, they cut no corners in presenting their world caped in shadow.  Cigarette constantly at hand, Ethan Hawke plays Edward like a traditional noir detective, who resents the world he’s become apart of, while Sam Neil shows us why he should be cast as a villain more often.  An interesting direction to take a genre that, like it’s immortal stars, runs the risk of never changing.

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