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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 01.08.10] post apocalyptic vampires

Year: 2010
Directors: Michael Spierig / Peter Spierig
Writers: Michael Spierig / Peter Spierig
IMDB: link
Amazon: link
Review by: Christopher Webster
Rating: 7.7 out of 10

[Editor's note: rochefort had a completely different take of the film at Fantastic Fest and Marina loved it.]

Oh. Thank. God. After two straight years of Twilight moms, Vampire Diaries and a glut of other soap-operas-of-the-undead, the Spierig brothers have finally given us something fresh to sink our teeth into with Daybreakers. Something grounded, grown-up and totally original for the vampire set.

Instead of going for the played-out, gothic style seen in most big vampire films, the Spierigs use the hallmarks of dystopian sci-fi to create an intriguing vision of a brutal future where vamps own the world and humans are an endangered species, hunted and farmed for their blood.

It's a moody, atmospheric place existing somewhere between the mirky Dark City and the post-modern GATTACA, and the retro-fitted intricacies of it are a constant source of amazement. Of course, with the budget they had, the brothers only get to show us a glimpse of its crumbling infrastructure, but when the credits role I predict many viewers will be longing for a prequel to see how it all began - a sign, perhaps, that the property has legs?

Marketed as an action film and filmed in a slick, Matrix-y sort of way, Daybreakers doesn't consistently deliver the goods, but it has just enough scares and a couple of decent action beats to keep its audience on edge. And, it doesn't shy away from the horror element which is a major plus. It gets monstrous when you least expect it (the "subsiders" are frickin' scary!) and goes all out with the gore when it needs to. The final slow motion shot of an all out feeding frenzy is truly a sight to behold.

I wish I could give Daybreakers a slightly higher rating then I have, but script problems and some stilted dialogue delivery won't allow it. Even in their directing, the Australian Spierig twins are not quite there yet. Perhaps the sheer ambition of their sophomore effort got the better of them, but there's not doubt they are ones to watch. Highly recommended.

Recommended Release: Daybreakers

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