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‘Daybreakers’ Doesn’t Make Sense!

I just watched Daybreakers (yes, I am ridiculously behind on my movie watching) and after finally seeing this huge hit of a film I have the intense desire to rant. Woo! Cue the rant dance! Ok… I don’t actually have a rant dance but if I did I imagine there would be a lot of fist pumping and flailing involved. Ahem. Onwards!

WARNING: There be big spoilers up ahead!

Daybreakers is set in the year 2019, when a plague has transformed almost everyone into a bloodthirsty vampire. With only 5% of the population being human, the vampires are faced with a dwindling blood supply and are forced to plot new methods of survival. While the big bad vamps do that, a kindhearted vampire researcher works with a hidden group of humans on a way to save humankind.

While this is a mini rant, I will admit right off the bat that I enjoyed the film. Daybreakers has great acting, great effects, a great tone, a fantastic storyline, loads of action and all that other good stuff, but in spite of all of that there was one big issue I had – it wasn’t believable. That may seem like an insane issue to have with a film, because come on, it’s a fictional flick about a vampire plague. But stay with me here.

Obviously Daybreakers is pure fiction, I get that, but to make it seem even remotely believable you’ve got to mix in a little bit of fact into it. Some of the greatest vampire movies out there are great because they are believable. Everything fits perfectly and while you know it’s all fake, part of you begins to wonder and you start to think that maybe it could happen. That wasn’t the case with Daybreakers. In the beginning it was plausible, a plague that turns people into vampires, definitely unlikely, but believable. But then we got to the cure, that ridiculous sunlight cure. It didn’t make sense AT ALL! Maybe if the writers had thrown in some science into the script, explained it a little, then they could have made it seem likely. But they didn’t, they were like “Oh hey, yeah, shining some sunbeams on a vampire totally cures them. That makes all kinds of sense! Brilliant!” But it’s not. I really loved the film up until that point, but that cure was such bull. If they had attempted to explain how the hell that would work, even a fictional explanation, it would have been better. If this was a purely magical film then whatever, magic is the explanation. But Daybreakers isn’t a magical film, the vampirism is caused by a plaque, not a supernatural curse, therefore there should be a certain level of realism there. Ugh.

Clearly I am looking far too deeply into this, but really, think of your favorite vampire films. All the pieces fit, right? They are somewhat believable? Yeah, that’s one of the things that make them so awesome. Unfortunately Daybreakers did not have that touch of awesome.

What do you guys think?

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).

8 replies on “‘Daybreakers’ Doesn’t Make Sense!”

I thought it was awful! I was so mad bcuz like you said it was good to a certain point then it just started going no where! I was so disappointed by the end of the movie! I did like the whole idea that humans were used as cattle tho!

Yeah, I hated the end of the film. It just… ended, with nothing more going on. With an ending like that you’d think that they are planning a sequel.

I feel absolutely the same way I love it until that shit I was like seriously WTF I thought maybe it was the water or somethig obviously in the water maybe a counter bacteria or something that could combat the effects of the virus that would have been awesome cuz then they could have collected the water and injected the vamps with it but other than that an the oh yeah bite me and your cured too thing was ridiculous too please tell me if I’m speaking the truth or not

There were several logical and storytelling problems with Daybreakers:
1) Vampirism is explained in scientific terms as the result of a pathogen, yet the vampires have supernatural properties such as casting no reflection and no heartbeat (which is not possible in scientific terms for a walking, thinking organism).
2) Burning in the sun and having the flames extinguished restores the vampire to normal human – which would mean restarting the heart and circulation, reversing the extreme photosensitivity, and other massive physiological changes. Instantly. Also, the fact that the burning is quickly extinguished suggests that the photo/thermal effects don’t penetrate the core of the body but are largely superficial, which isn’t consistent with those changes.
3) The blood-transferable cure again entails instant massive physiological changes. And if it’s a product created as a result of the burning, then the fact that it doesn’t get diluted with multiple transfers implies that it is immunological – but the original catalyst was not immunological but non-biological (the sun). It doesn’t make much sense in scientific terms. (If it had been chalked up to magic or spirituality I could buy it.)
4) The idea that feeding on others vampires creates batlike ‘subsiders’ seems like a device to close off the plot possibilities of vamps feeding on each other, and makes little biological sense (after all, cannibalism is common in nature). And self-feeding resulting in the effect is even less plausible.
5) In a mere decade after a civilization-ending plague, the new vampire order has the time and resources to create impressive new infrastructure, including an enormous tunnel project.
6) The collapse of the vampire order due to blood shortage seems to be on fast-forward, with what should be years or at least months of societal breakdown squeezed into a few days.

The creators wanted it both ways, with “scientifically” explained vampires and vampirism cures that nevertheless have supernatural characteristics. However, the biggest problem is that having an instant cure result in an even more potent instant cure (because it’s infectious) just seems like a deus ex machina to resolve the story’s conflicts (human vs vamps, brother vs brother, everyone vs Sam Neill, vamp society vs resource depletion) nearly instantly. And that’s just not very dramatically satisfying.

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