Film, Horror
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An ambitious premise about a future world ruled by corporate vampires is explored with some intelligence, sly humour and blood-splattering brio by the Spierig brothers – but the skin-deep political satire and gory action are let down badly by some sluggish pacing and cheap production values. Appalled by sleek-suited Sam Neill’s cynical control of the market in farmed human blood, renegade haematologist Ethan Hawke joins forces with the human resistance headed by the Elvis-quoting, crossbow-wielding Willem Dafoe.

There’s an emotional angle too: Neill’s estranged daughter has gone Awol after refusing to be ‘turned’, while Hawke’s boneheaded brother is a gung-ho hunter of humans. The resistance are seeking a cure for vampirism, but the avaricious Neill is more interested in developing a lucrative, synthetic blood substitute. Sadly, like the sun-fearing vampires, the film’s characters don’t get out much: for long stretches, they’re trapped in over-designed interiors spouting dull expository dialogue. ‘Daybreakers’ is a marked improvement on the Spierigs’ 2003 debut ‘Undead’, but its pulse is decidedly erratic.

By: Nigel Floyd


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Wednesday January 6 2010
Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Cast: Ethan Hawke
Willem Dafoe
Isabel Lucas

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:2
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im 14 shud i go and see this? im pondering over whether i wud enjoy it or not please comment back!:) thjanks

Pretty entertaining stuff, stylish, a good cast and not too gory.

Very decent entertainment. Not a horror film, but a slightly gory action film with a fantastic aesthetic. I'm not sure what the Time Out reviewer means by cheap production values - it looked slick enough to me. What it didn't have was real emotional depth, possibly because not enough time is spent developing some of the characters. There were plenty of twists but they weren't all that twisty. I also feel that films like this, where vampires are ten-a-penny, kind of cheapen the vampire genre - vampires are supposed to be dark, lost souls possessed of a monstrous evil. In too many films like this they are just Joe from down the block (until they run short on blood, at least), or at worst a cynical businessman. Making their condition curable by a (relatively) straightforward, mundane process cheapens them further. However this film does represent an interesting comment on the human condition - given the choice of immortality as a predator, or a limited life-span as prey, in the absence of clear religious convictions, how many people would accept or even eagerly seek out undeath? I don't think there's enough in this film for a great sequal (I could always be proven wrong!), but it does make me wonder - how many "people" would go for the cure? ... I do wish people could review films without giving away so much of the storyline. But Janet is right, there is no major phoo pahh!

Loved Daybreakers. Very entertaining from start to finish, Lots of action, but quite different from other vampire films,

Loved Daybreakers. Very entertaining from start to finish, Lots of action, but quite different from other vampire films,

i agree with abc lol! shit film really was a waste of money and i thought the same about the whole cure! loads of pointless blood and guts and not enough real action!

went to see on friday probably wouldn't go again. notice one major phoo pahh, frankie wasn't turned back to human when he bit the daughter but was when he bit "elvis", but both were 'cured' vampires who would have had the special blood mmm not much thought on that one. usual slash and gash as would expect a vampire film.