Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Film Review: Daybreakers courtesy of @reviewbrisbane

I've just been to a review screening of the new vampire film Daybreakers, filmed in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. I got the ticket from the website (actually from their Twitter account), so if you'd like to see movies for free in return for reviewing them, you should check them out.

Anyway, the movie. Daybreakers is set in 2019, and almost all humans in the world have been turned into vampires. A large corporation™ is harvesting humans kept in suspended animation for their blood, but blood stocks are running very low which means there are plenty of starving vampires (or "subsiders") around, causing more and more social problems. Ethan Hawke's character is in charge of finding a blood substitute that the corp can sell to keep the vampire population fed and the corporation rich. Unlike most vampires, Hawke refuses to drink human blood for ethical reasons and doesn't like the idea of the human race being totally wiped out.

Hawke bumps into some renegade humans, led by Claudia Karvan and Willem Dafoe who are hiding from the vampires. Dafoe's character used to be a vampire, but he stumbled on a cure for vampirism, and Hawke realises that rather than search for a substitute for blood, the world can be rid of vampires altogether.

The rest of the film shows the humans fighting back, set against the background of blood getting scarcer and scarcer, leading to blood riots and a fascist crackdown against the hungry subsiders. This side of the story was interesting, and could have been played out in a lot more detail if the film was turned into a novel (or series of novels) - there would be lots of scope for alliances and double-crossing between the powerful vampires, the subsiders and the humans.

Since a lot of Daybreakers was filmed in Brisbane, it was good to see familiar places posing as Any Generic American City. Some of the places I recognised were the Old Museum, the Riverside Expressway, Adelaide St, the subway running between Central Station and Anzac Square, the GPO and the large apartments next to it, and one of the big foyers on the Riverside Plaza near Creek St. Oddly enough, the Batman Building didn't get a look in.

If you like vampire movies, or if the story appeals to you, see Daybreakers in the cinema.

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