Hey, remember when vampires used to be scary? Remember that? They weren't always brooding teenagers who were in love that barely resemble what legend and literature tells us what a vampire is. They used to drink blood, have fangs, kill humans and be freaking scary, damnit!! It's good to know that the writing/directing team of The Spierig Brothers remember that and try to bring us back to the gory gusto that used to rule the vampire landscape. The bloodsuckers in Daybreakers are elegant, sophisticated and sexy...for the most part. That is until their blood supply runs out and then they turn into the snarling, ghastly beasts we vampire lovers have been missing. The movie takes place in 2019, after a virus has turned almost everyone into vampires who are now farming the remaining humans for blood. Ethan Hawke is the doctor working on getting vamps off blood and Willem DeFoe is a human resistance leader. Seems odd that two gifted actors, that I've had the pleasure of seeing perform quite challenging roles in the past, would agree to do such a wacky, futuristic horror movie. However, if I were to have read the script for this movie, I would've been excited to take part in it too. On paper, I'll bet this movie was brimming with originality, scares and action. Sadly for everyone who took part in this movie who thought that, only half of it came across on the screen. The originality seemed somewhat borrowed, the scares were effective but brief and the action was non-existent. But that's not to say that I wasn't entertained by this wayward horror. I've always been a sucker (no pun intended) for vampire movies, that is until they were turned into lovers and not biters; so, I feel like I'm willing to sit through anything that's about them to give it a chance. I was invested in the story from start to finish and was only mildly bored at times. I was let down at the lack of true horror splatter that I was expecting until the ending turned into a full out, blood-soaked orgy of violence, which teetered on parody at the directors' choices. But overall, there was just something missing from this movie. It seemed like an incomplete script. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that there's another half hour of footage that landed on the cutting room floor instead of the final print. Daybreakers was only about 100 minutes long, so half of that missing footage wouldn't have hurt and might have made this attempt at horror and action a little closer to the Bull's Eye than it was.
Daybreakers (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: C