Directors: Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
Screenplay: Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan, Sam Niell, Michael Dorman, Isabel Lucas
Running Time: 98 minutes
Genre: Horror, science-fiction, action
Summary: By 2019 a plague has turned most of Earth's population into vampires. Those who are still human are hunted down for their blood or turned into new vampires. However, the human population has now dwindled to the point that the human race is virtually extinct, which would deprive the vampires of their food source. If a vampire goes for too long without human blood they begin to degenrate into a violent bat-like creature known as a "subsider". Edward Dalton (Hawke), who is sympathetic towards humans, is working towards finding a synthetic blood substitutewhich he hopes will allow vampires and humans to co-exist. However, his greedy boss Charles Bromley (Neill), intends for the synthetic blood to allow the human race just enough time to repopulate before he starts farming them again and selling the real blood for top dollar. After rescuing a group of humans from the police, Edward is contacted by Audrey (Karvan), leader of an undergound group of humans. Through her Edward meets Elvis (Dafoe) a man who accidentally stumbled upon a method for returning vampires to their living human states. The problem is whether the method can be duplicated and whether the vampires will accept it
Opinion: One of the most interesting elements in this blend of vampire horror and science-fiction action movie is it's depiction of a vampire world, complete with blood bags hooked up at the subway station coffee kiosk, windowless houses and shielded "sun-proof" cars, shot in muted colours where dull blues and greys predominate. The performances are good with Ethan Hawke engaging and sympathetic as the "good-guy" vampire and Willem Dafoe adding a lot of fun as the wisecracking Elvis. The action is well handled with a lot of exciting car chases, and plenty of explosive gore, and the whole thing keeps moving nicely.
This is one of those movies where it's best not to think about it too much after you've watched it because there are so many elements and explanations that just don't make much sense, but it will provide a fun hour and a half for action and horror fans.
Meetings of the Crossbow Appreciation Society tended towards the dull: Ethan Hawke, Claudia Karvan, Willem Dafoe and Vince Colosimo in Daybreakers