Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jason Watches DAYBREAKERS

Back in 2003, at the first ever Another Hole in the Head horror, fantasy, and sci-fi film festival, I saw this hilarious action/horror/comedy called UNDEAD by two Australian brothers. 6 years later, the Spierigs are back with a polished Hollywood production, but they're still finding interesting new takes on old genres. In this case, vampires.

In the near future vampires have appeared, attacked humans, and won thoroughly. Humans are an endangered species, and vampires control the tools of government--there's a vampire congress, police, corporations, etc. Humans were given the chance to assimilate, and those who didn't were hunted and put in truly grotesque blood farms, easily the most striking image of the movie. Ten years later they've over-hunted/over-farmed humans and now there's a crippling blood shortage. Even worse, starving vampires turn into "subsiders", the more feral, bat-like, monstrous vampires who are no longer recognizably human-ish (the process is sped up if they feed on vampire blood). In this world Ethan Hawke plays a vampire scientist looking for an artificial blood substitute. But not to save the vampires from starvation and subsiderism, but to save the humans that he still feels allegiance to.

I won't give any more of the plot away, there are some good twists (although I saw the last one coming a mile away), and nice work by the likes of Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill. It's scary at times, funny when it should be, and plenty of action. But mostly I like it for the clever and fully though out way vampires would live if they took over. Details like cars with cameras and blackened windows for day driving, or the subwalk series of underground tunnels make it easy to willingly suspend disbelief.

Running time: 98 minutes

My total minutes: 165,716

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