smackshack: a crude digital self-portrait (Default)
Daybreakers is as cool and original in its take on vampires as Avatar is lame and tired in its take on sci-fi colonization drama. 

No sparkly bullshit here: vampires are powerful bloodsucking fiends who, as any good Darwinist would expect, have quickly outcompeted the normal human population, turning regular people into a tightly controlled food supply.  Life as a vampire is pretty good as long as you stay out of the sun. 

The hitch?  The best way to avoid being food is to become a vampire yourself (many vampires turn their loved ones against their consent to prevent them becoming part of the blood supply chain). So the food supply is dwindling quickly, and if you don't get enough human blood you'll turn into a Nosferatu-style beast, body and mind deteriorating as hunger drives you mad.

So the question the movie poses -- Is the problem to solve the food crisis, or is the problem to solve vampirism? -- is a meaningful one, and characters on both sides of the issue are interesting and well-drawn.  There's an intelligent touch of social commentary in the style of George Romero, there's a moving story of heroism and sacrifice, there's some fun and gory vampire-fighting slapstick along with some legitimate scares, and there's the best use of a Pontiac Trans Am since Smokey and the Bandit.

On the negative side: there's a little bit of awkward editing, there's some really obvious product placement*, and I kept expecting Willem Dafoe to transmogrify into Kris Kristofferson.

But I have to give the movie two thumbs up. Best vampire flick in ages.

*Chrysler must be really fucking desperate.


smackshack: a crude digital self-portrait (Default)

June 2012



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