Daybreakers (2009)
February 16, 2023 11:04 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Ten years after a plague turns most of the world's population into vampires, a critical blood shortage causes panic and gruesome mutations among the reanimated. Edward (Ethan Hawke), a vampire hematologist, tries to develop a blood substitute when he meets Lionel (Willem Dafoe) and Audrey (Claudia Karvan), two fugitive humans who claim to have a possible cure. Edward casts his lot with them in the hope of perfecting the cure before it's too late.

Also starring Michael Dorman, Sam Neill, Isabel Lucas, Vince Colosimo, Jay Laga'aia.

Written and directed by The Spierig Brothers. Cinematography by Ben Nott. Edited by Matt Villa. Music by Christopher Gordon.

68% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently available for digital rental in the US, but also on Cinemax, if that is a thing anyone actually has anymore. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I guess you'd have to say this counts as a horror movie, because: vampires. But it's not connected to the normal thematic concerns of vampire stories at all, and is in fact, more like a Sci-fi movie exploring the inevitable dystopian shitshow a world run by vampires would become.

If everyday, more and more people become vampires, and more and more humans are killed/drained, there is a positively unavoidable supply chain crisis of catastrophic levels looming in the near future.

This isn't perfect, as it loses some momentum in the second half. But it's an actually original look at vampires, an interesting sci-fi premise, and very stylish. Plus, Ethan Hawke is, as ever, one of our best and most game genre film stars.

Michael Dorman is so young and such a baby that I couldn't place who he was until seeing his name in the credits.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:07 AM on February 16, 2023 [2 favorites]

I definitely appreciated the deliberate acknowledgement that exponential growth rates are unsustainable as social commentary.

Also (iirc) really enjoyed seeing the human bloodbank with people in giant blood bags hanging in a warehouse.
posted by porpoise at 12:34 PM on February 16, 2023

I don't know if it's a good movie, but I always love an Ethan Hawke genre flick. It's the fastest way to get my attention.
posted by grandiloquiet at 3:35 PM on February 16, 2023 [1 favorite]

This isn't perfect, as it loses some momentum in the second half.

I think this is more generous then I'd be - I think it becomes catatonic in the last half. Fun premise, interesting cast but largely a waste. I do have a soft spot for the equally flawed follow-up from the directors, Predestination, also featuring Ethan Hawke.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:37 PM on February 16, 2023 [1 favorite]

A middling narrative but as mentioned very cool world building. The coffee stand scene sticks out in my mind.
posted by artificialard at 8:53 PM on February 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

Totally forgave that it petered out at the end. Such amazing world-making. Genre so rarely cares about its political economy, and usually screws it up when it does.
posted by MattD at 12:39 AM on February 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

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