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Daybreakers, Movie

Daybreakers 2010

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Vampire horror with Ethan Hawke cast as a researcher in 2019, when an unknown plague has transformed most of the world’s population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, their fanged counterparts must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race. More

Made by the Spierig brothers, two Aussies who made their name with a low-budget zombie film called Undead in 2003. Also stars Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill. Hide

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Flicks.co.nz Review

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Andreas Heinemann Flicks Writer

Vampire movies continue to arrive thick and fast, although this latest example is more of an action blockbuster than a supernatural romance. Within that category it ticks enough boxes to make it a fun watch but has too many formal weaknesses for it to be able to match the cultural zeitgeist levels of its more famous blood-sucking brethren.

The movie comes out of the gate strong and delivers an engaging first half. The ‘blood as oil’ metaphor is an interesting concept and kudos to the filmmakers for trying to get a social message across, even if the execution is as often clumsy as it is clever. Stylistically there is a lot to applaud, with foreboding production design and some creative use of gore diverting from some occasionally underdone CGI. Willem Dafoe is the pick of the cast, stealing every scene he’s in.

The movie runs out of steam though and the impressive style is not matched by narrative substance. Its wagon is hitched to the more serious elements when in fact the wackier, almost B-grade material is more entertaining, even if it’s played out with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. This is a shame as Daybreakers could have been a pulpy delight instead of just another, albeit entertaining, action movie.

The People's Reviews

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4 ratings and 4 reviews

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It's in the blood

Andrea Nobody (?)

Being a low-budget film, you should take into account the quality stars performing in Daybreakers. They obviously read the script, loved it, and took a big paycut to do something they were passionate about. Considering this, my husband and I went and saw Daybreakers in AU and weren't disappointed. The concept itself is brilliantly original, I found myself wondering why noone had thought of it before. I am not normally one to go and see a vampire movie, but this took it into mind-blowing new levels. I almost think if they had more money, it would look even more spectacular, but would it look too hollywood? God knows. Anyway, it's definitely a must watch, edge-of-your-seat, nail-biter... I cannot wait until it comes out in New Zealand.

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Gimme-a-break!

The_Chihuahua Wannabe (?)

What a highly amusing movie. This had potential to be quite an epic but after watching this all I can think of is "B-Grade" Splatter-fest. With so many good actors and a storyline worthy of effect, it just failed to deliver. Let's hope they all don't die from the embarrassing make of this movie.

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had potential but....

.chris Nobody (?)

Started good, midway was good, but then it just all went wrong. Felt like it tried to be a little bit of a fright-fest but the story seem to run off on a tangent.
But still better than half the *expeletive deleted* made these days.

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Press Reviews

Chicago Sun-Times

This intriguing premise, alas, ends as so many movies do these days, with fierce fights and bloodshed. Full review.

Empire (UK)

Lots of interesting concepts competing for limited running time make for more of a TV pilot than a feature film. Full review.

Hollywood Reporter

The Spierigs have assembled a strong cast, but even their best efforts -- notably by Neill, whose Bromley is the ultimate vampire squid, tentacles wrapped around the face of this scary new world -- can't pump any real life into the bloodless script. Full review.

Los Angeles Times

Any higher intentions are brought crashing down by predictability, wooden characters, giggle-inducing attempts at scares (shrieking bats, anyone?) and cinematography so gloomy it should be checked for serotonin deficiency. Full review.

New York Times

The narrative may flag, but the doomsday atmosphere and George Liddle’s production design remain vivid until the final, blood-splattered reel. Full review.

TV3 (Kate Rodger)

“Life’s a bitch, and then you don’t die”. Being a vampire sometimes isn’t that much fun. Full review.

tvnz.co.nz (Darren Bevan)

Vampires are all the rage these days and with a plethora of blood suckers out there, you'd have to wonder what story is left to be told - and how well it will do in the wake of the Twilight box office juggernaut. Full review.

Variety (USA)

The script doesn't wring many surprises or much character involvement from the premise, and the brothers' helming, while slick, is short on scares, action setpieces and humor. Full review.