Daybreakers (Blu-ray)

The world’s population is nearly all turned into vampires and humans are fast becoming an endangered species. With only a month’s worth of blood left, the vampires turn to a team of their doctors who are working to find a “True Blood” type solution (or in some cases a cure) before blood deprivation turns them all into mindless monsters.

Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe in Daybreakers

I was happy to see a vampire flick hit theaters that didn’t have the world “Twilight” in it (though to be fair I enjoy the TWILIGHT films), and even more stoked by the fact it was rated R. Being an avid vampire fan I found myself intrigued by the concept of a world populated by vampires, but can’t help but think this blood problem is a touch rudimentary and quite a substantial plot hole. How in the hell do you let people (your only form of sustenance) just die out and not get serious about a solution until you have one month’s worth left!? Come on now, instead of keeping people in the freezer maybe you should have been breeding them like the machines were in THE MATRIX. It’s not exactly rocket science and I find myself hard pressed to believe none of them thought of this beforehand.

Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe in Daybreakers

There were more than enough subtle nuances to enjoy here that (like the overall concept) bend the rules surrounding what know of vampire lore without breaking them.  I totally dug how Hawke met up with Dafoe under that huge tree at mid day when the sun was at its brightest, yet he was able to be outside as long as remained in the tree’s shadow (the daylight driving techniques were a cool addition as well though I’d clearly make a point of getting bulletproof glass for my car).  There aren’t a whole slew of new ways to tell an old story, but this film gets points for at least trying.

Sam Neill in Daybreakers

The cast is also a good seller here, with Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe. I dug Neill as a villain (he pales in comparison to Victor from the UNDERWORLD series though), but did feel the whole subplot with his daughter was completely useless and delivered dick all to the story. The vampire brother vs. brother aspect of things worked on some levels but then again, it’s no surprise that a doctor and a military grunt wouldn’t see things eye to eye.  The rallying of humans was pretty weak as more often than not, the humans were dying and in doing so not really helping either cause but the enigma surrounding Dafoe was cool as was the way in which the final solution was delivered.

Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe in Daybreakers

DAYBREAKERS is a fresh look into the world of vampires; not nearly on the same level as TRUE BLOOD but light years beyond the drama of TWILIGHT. This was also not as groundbreaking as 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, but I’m happy this story didn’t get downsized and pawned off as a direct to DVD gamble like DARK DAYS (the sequel to 30 DAYS OF NIGHT) is going to be. Vampire fans will definitely find something of value here (especially when it comes to all the extras) but all in all this is a pretty good time for Horror fans across the board.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video:  2.35:1 Widescreen in 1080p HD with AVC codec.  The sets, tone and over all feel of this flick was dark but exceptionally visceral in HD.  Good times.

Audio:  5.1 DTS-HD in English and French with those as well as Spanish subtitle options.  This baby sounds razor sharp in HD, but Horror always does take full advantage of surround sound.

Commentary with the Spierig Brothers and Steve Boyle:  The directors/writers, the Spierig Brothers, along with makeup effects guy Steve Boyle tell us that since Lionsgate picked up their first flick UNDEAD (which the brothers invested their life savings into), they couldn’t wait to work with them again and loved this flick’s concept from jump street.

Bonusview Storyboards/Animatics:  This feature (akin to the commentary) adds storyboard art, sketches and the occasional animated bit to the film as it plays through.  There were some pretty badass vampire drawings in there.

The Making of Daybreakers (2:01:38): This extensive feature guides us along the four stages of production with several cast and crew interviews along the way.  It’s exceedingly hilarious to find out that nearly everyone on board is not overly fond of Horror films.

The Big Picture-Spierig Brothers Short Film (13:51): A very cool Short about how even the smallest decisions/actions can change the course of our lives forever.  I totally dug the ending.

Poster Art Gallery: A look at the seven different movie posters.  The first three are pretty much the same but I liked the last two.

Previews: There’s a theatrical trailer for the film, a slew of Lionsgate previews, a couple Blu-ray commercials, some BD-LIVE content and a Digital Copy of the feature.

OVERALL 4.5
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