SCI-FI HORROR; 1hr 38min
STARRING: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Claudia Karvan, Vince Colosimo
There will be blood: from left, Hawke and Dafoe
By 2019 — assuming the world doesn’t end in 2012, as supposedly predicted by the Mayan calendar — 95 per cent of humans have been wiped out and the planet is controlled by vampires who hunt mortals for their blood. With supplies dwindling, morose vamp haematologist Ed Dalton (Hawke) and his beady-eyed colleagues (Neill is his boss, Colosimo a key offsider) are working to come up with a substitute. The stakes are massive since, in the degraded limbo of film-making brothers Peter and Michael Spierig (Undead ), a starving vampire rapidly mutates into a monstrosity. For Ed, to whom human blood is morally repugnant, eternal life is an imprisonment. So when he stumbles across renegade humans Audrey and Elvis (Karvan and Dafoe) with a solution to regenerate humanity, he is ethically bound to join them.
Filmed on the Queensland Gold Coast, standing in for Anywhere, USA, Daybreakers is all sleek-bleak. True to traditional fanged type, it culminates in a dirty showdown in which civilised veneer is paper-thin and savagery dips deep into the grotesque. But as a judgment of what desperation is made of, the gory weirdness feels hyper-real.