It has been ten years since an unknown plague infected the world turning most of the human race into vampires. Most have adapted to their new lifestyle with little problem but as the years pass and the plague continues to spread the vampire population have discovered something that they were not prepared to deal with… Their food supply, that is the part of the population that still remains human, is dying out.
Only 5% of the world’s population still remains human and each day their numbers are dwindling. If the human race were to die out that would mean only one thing, the vampire race would soon follow. Scientists work night and day hoping to discover a blood substitute that will effectively end the need for human blood but things are not looking very promising. In fact many vampires have become so desperate that they have begun to feed off other vampires causing them to mutate into monstrous bat-like creatures known as subsiders. To curb the rise of cannibalism all subsiders are promptly gathered by the vampire military and destroyed in the sun.
Edward Dalton (played by Ethan Hawke), a hematologist working for Bromley Marks pharmaceuticals has his own reasons for wanting to find a suitable blood substitute. Much to the chagrin of both his boss and his brother, Edward is a human sympathizer and has decided that he no longer wants to drink human blood. Of course this means that if he starves himself too long he could find himself becoming a subsider and end up being destroyed along with the rest of them. Frustrated by his continued failures Edward is at a loss as to what to do next, that is until he crashes his car into another car that just so happens to be filled with humans.
Knowing that the humans would be herded off to the blood farms if captured Edward hides them, helping them to evade the vampire authorities. Proving himself to be trustworthy he soon finds himself recruited by a band of human rebels who claim to have found the cure for Vampirism. He is introduced to Lionel Cormac, better known as Elvis (played by Willem Dafoe), a former vampire who after being exposed to sunlight for only a brief amount of time had miraculously been transformed back into a human.
Edward finds himself in a race against the clock as he tries to recreate the events that led to Elvis’s return to humanity. If he succeeds not only will he be able to cure the vampire population, he just may save the human race as well.
Daybreakers, a movie about a world where vampires are the dominate species can almost be considered a sequel to the many movies based on the classic novel I am Legend by Richard Matheson. Like I am Legend a plague is responsible for the vampire outbreak which leads to the creation of a vampire civilization. Also similar is the human survivors search for a cure in the hopes of saving the human race from extinction. In fact one might say that Daybreakers could be a retelling of I am Legend from the vampires point of view.
The movie is fast paced and exciting and while not overly philosophical like other movies inspired by I am Legend it doesn’t really need to be. The cast including Willem Dafoe (a vampire legend in his own right having starred in both Shadow of the Vampire and Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant aside from Daybreakers) give great performances and the action is enough to keep viewers entertained for an hour and a half.
The bloodbath near the movie’s climax is particularly fun to watch.
Daybreakers is slated for DVD and Blue-ray release May 11th 2010.