Sound Off: Spierig Brothers' Daybreakers - Your Thoughts?
by Alex Billington
January 8, 2010
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Thanks to Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight franchise, the vampire genre is quickly losing its dark and thrilling reputation, but Michael and Peter Spierig are here to remind us what great vampire movies should be like. Daybreakers lands in theaters this weekend and it's a gory, glorious romp back into the world of vampires that we all know and love. But is it any good? How are Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe as the leads? Is there any subsistence to the story or is it forgettable? If you've seen it, then sound off, leave a comment below, and let us know what you thought of Daybreakers!
To fuel the fire, while I loved the concept and the world the Spierig Brothers created in this, I really thought the rest of it was quite forgettable. The first problem is that the very limited budget on this really hurt them. Not only did they do some of their own visual effects which just looked awful, but the film felt like it could've used some extra polish. And the story was the worst part, it was dull, unbelievable, and way too predictable, which is sad considering it's a great concept. So although they did a fine job coming up with the world, I felt like the rest of it fell apart. It was mildly entertaining, but definitely not one of my favorite vampire films.
What did you think of Daybreakers? A great dark vampire tale or quickly forgettable horror?
Reader Feedback - 34 Comments
It started off really good then just kinda lost steam and turned into a weak B action movie.
IN-Rainbows on Jan 8, 2010
Good vampire movie with cool ideas. First half stronger than the second half, but all in all most definitely worth seeing in the cinema. HH
Have Hope on Jan 8, 2010
I agree with the first two commentators. It started off really strong and then somewhere in the middle it started nosediving. The premise is actually really interesting and the world they setup is pretty cool. Then it starts to get get cheesy and predictable without even some cool action to save it at the end. Dennis
ThinkHero on Jan 8, 2010
I really enjoyed Daybreakers. I think it mostly lived up to its concept and had some great ideas sprinkled in. It was definitely something I've never seen before. I thought Hawke was good, but Dafoe and Neil stole the movie- Dafoe especially was awesome. The first two acts were really strong then the third act turned into just a pretty cool action B movie. Things I didn't like: there's some pacing issues, the FX during a car chase (one shot in particular) was iffy, and there was a subplot or two that felt extremely half baked (one dealt with Sam Neil's character). While Daybreakers still has problems, I still think it was overall quite strong. The world they created was detailed wonderfully, "most" of the acting was solid, the action was kick ass (great blood-work), and it's hard not to admire how original and ambitious it is. It's a lot of fun too. 8/10.
JackGi on Jan 8, 2010
It was an enjoyable movie, but nothing amazing. Definitely worth the $4 I paid to see it, but it still fell a little short of my expectations. My only real complaints are that the characters were kind of flat and William Dafoe's character was really corny (nothing against Dafoe, I love Dafoe, just the character). I agree that there were some pacing problems as well. I give it a 7/10.
FancyMonocle on Jan 8, 2010
I truly liked this movie. It was so nice to see a movie about the vampires we grew up learning about. I loved the beginning. This world where vampires are the majority of the population and the life they've had to create for themselves, I was truly astounded at how that world looked. However, I felt it started losing its fire and mystique in the middle of the movie and just burnt out near the end. The movie was not consistent in pace and had an incredibly cliche ending. Had a different ending happened I think this movie would've turned out a lot better. I enjoyed the idea behind the movie and the truth that was behind the plot and would definently recommend seeing this in the theater.
ooertheseas on Jan 8, 2010
I walked out of Daybreakers today. Seems like hollwood is running out of ideas. A cheesy film... yum.
hylo on Jan 9, 2010
I agree with what was said, it started of great and I thought I was in for a real treat since I love vampire movies but then it began to suck big time. I don’t know, maybe it’s time to put a temporary stake in the vampire genre and resurrect it in a few years when Hollywood gets some fresh blood.
Hattori Hanzo on Jan 9, 2010
It was a pretty solid movie. I like the ideas that it interduced and how it stuck to the vampire lore pretty well in this "twilight" era of movies. The effects of the costumes for the ferals was amazing.
The Saint on Jan 9, 2010
I friggan loved every minute of this flick and I'm really surprised by some of the comments. You finally get an original concept, original story, and new twist on a genre film and then you complain? I saw this with a bunch of my guy friends and we couldn't stop talking about it afterwards. The theme of life and death really resonates throughout the story and the sparce resources imitated society today. I really enjoyed this a lot and cannot recommend it more to others which is high praise considering I really didn't care for Undead. More action would have been nice, but on their limited budget I understand why there's not much vampire killin til the very end. Speaking of beginning credit sequences too, the visual story telling was perfect and was able to set up a massive world without uttering a single line of dialogue in the first 10 minutes.
peloquin on Jan 9, 2010
It was a decent watch for $6
Izyk on Jan 9, 2010
I shouldn't read your comments until I have seen the movie I am going today. Now I don't want to.
Dewbie on Jan 9, 2010
It was OK..i liked the over all look of the movie, i agree with the first 3 comments, definatly stronger at the start got a bit muddled in the middle and the ending should have been better, must say William Dafoe was excellent!
The Mother on Jan 9, 2010
someone else said that this plot is closer to the original i am legend story than all those movies put together. thats what it kind of felt like for me. nothing crazy original, but the effects and cinematography were excellent. imo. that alone made up for its lackluster second half.
lego on Jan 9, 2010
My wife i walked out of there very dissapointed. We didnt go in expecting much but still one of the worst vampire films ever. DUMB, DUMB, DUMB! Dafoe was good but just a bad, bad, bad movie! peloquin- we couldn't stop talking about it afterwards. WOW!!! really?????? I will say that first part with the vampire girl writing the letter and going out in the sun, etc.. was good and i liked how they filmed it (that part) but after that.... So bad, that we stopped at a RED BOX afterwards and picked up a movie, so we could forget this one! Happy New Year!!!!
oneoftheworstvampirefilmsever on Jan 9, 2010
Did you guys see the same film I did? I thought it was great. From start to finish. Didn't feel it took a nosedive at any point. I'd give it an 8.5/10
Film Fan on Jan 9, 2010
@ 15... What in particular did you not care for? I see you say it was "dumb" but that's not the most constructive criticism and seeing as you walked out after 15 minutes I don't think you're a legitimate source for a valid review. I thought the concept was original and the acting by Dafoe and Hawke was superb. I thought the story wrapped up very nicely and like I said earlier, I could have used more action, but I was satisfied with what I got for the budget they had to work with. I saw this with 4 other guys and every one of us loved it.
peloquin on Jan 9, 2010
I saw this on Friday and thought it was one of the most natural takes on the vampire concept I have seen in a while. So maybe the storyline was somewhat simple - isn't that realistic, though? It's Occam's Razor - the simplest solution is also the most likely one.
Maggie on Jan 9, 2010
i havnt seen it but it reminds me of matrix with vampires
jeb stuart on Jan 9, 2010
Loved it but they need someone to do their effects for them. They don't have to do them on their home computers anymore. Undead made money, hire some one. Otherwise awesome flick! 8/10
Joshua Kelly on Jan 9, 2010
My Review: the idea for Daybreakers was great, a very new and cool world with very old school vampires. But the story of the characters in this world is awful, dull and predictable. We have all seen this movie 7000x before and no one cares to see it again. You can predict every second of this flick, and you'll be left laughing at our 3 main characters dialogue through out. The first thing i disliked was the Directing/and or editing . The camera hops EVERYWHERE. the longest shot of the movie was maybe about 10 seconds long. Either the directors wanted it this way orrr... the Editor diced it up something fierce. And the Acting... well it was bad enough said I give it a D-.... and advise you to (if anything) rent this one on VHS
DoomCanoe on Jan 9, 2010
I really enjoyed this movie, I thought it would be halfway decent from the trailer but it was just a really solid movie. Once the very unique plot is made clear, the film does become predictable but there is still enough originality and bloody, crossbow-wielding awesomeness to make it worth the price for ticket admission. Great concept though and really well executed. To those complaining about the effects, the budget was 20 million and they did it themselves, so even though they did look kind of shitty at times, it was definitely good considering the amount of money they had at their disposal.
AlecVonDoh on Jan 9, 2010
All of the above statements are correct. It was great in the beginning, but then hit a dead end from mid to end. Too cheesy, you saw every act coming as it unfolded. Also, It was one of those movies you were embarrassed to see leaving the theater. fail movies 2/10
Vincent Cipollone on Jan 9, 2010
I thought it added a new twist to an old genre. the vampire movies have been done to death any way possible. but to suggest that the majority of the earths population had been transformed into bloodsuckers, i thought was pretty unique. Another original part of the plot, was Dafoe's transformation back to a living human, and the recreation of it. the second half was slow. very slow. but the last few minutes (minus the slow motion vampire feeding frenzy scene) were pretty decent. Overall, not a bad movie......but not the greatest vampire movie ever. 7 out of 10
Gunslinger19 on Jan 10, 2010
Best movie of the decade
L1A on Jan 10, 2010
As someone who is quite fond of the Vampire Myth/Reality and how they are used in film I have high hopes for this film. And then the credits rolled. If I don't know that my behind has become numb, and I'm not looking for the plot points and how the script might have looked the film passes in most regards. This was not one of those movies. I though the idea as most ideas come was fresh and new. To me this film had a great combination of the mortality of an immortal race, the use of Vampirism as a virus and the attempts of humanity to recover what was theirs. So with those ingredients I was hoping to have been satisfied but I left the theater starving for more cinematic originality. There is no reason why an actual or CG bat has to be in the film to remind the audience that this is a Vampire movie. Its rather insulting. The only thing that really seemed to stand its ground was Ethan Hawke. You can count on his faces and desperation like you can count on finding the cream in an oreo cookie and he delivered. Wilem Dafoe as Elvis seemed to such the marrow out of the script too much. Trying to hard on film is like telling your mother with a chocolate covered face you weren't in the pudding bowl. Overall I was depressed that yet another Vampire film left a not so fresh taste in my mouth. The idea was great, the scare tactics were great but the film just didn't leave me satisfied. Then again at least it wasn't another Twilight movie.
Darren on Jan 10, 2010
"I loved the concept and the world the Spierig Brothers created in this, I really thought the rest of it was quite forgettable. The first problem is that the very limited budget on this really hurt them. Not only did they do some of their own visual effects which just looked awful, but the film felt like it could've used some extra polish. And the story was the worst part, it was dull, unbelievable, and way too predictable, which is sad considering it's a great concept. So although they did a fine job coming up with the world, I felt like the rest of it fell apart. It was mildly entertaining, but definitely not one of my favorite vampire films." EXACTLY what I have been saying since I saw it. It's eerie how exact this is. I couldn't agree more. Literally.
AM on Jan 10, 2010
at least it wasn't as bad as avatar
123 on Jan 10, 2010
good movie. and if anyone is embarassed to be seen leaving a movie you could probs do with some self confidence.
Peter Mack on Jan 10, 2010
Took the wife to see it this weekend. The concept was was great, and the first 30 minutes of the movie were really enjoyable. After that, the movie started to slow it's pace, and by the time they found "the cure", it really nose dived. The last 20 minutes or so really killed any buzz this movie could of had. Both of us walked out disappointed in the way they completely gave up on the ending of this movie.
Craig on Jan 11, 2010
I thought it was great. Pretty gory, a good amount of action, and a couple developments everyone won't see coming. If you like vampire movies like Blade and John Carpenter's Vampires, then you'll thouroughly enjoy Daybreakers. Don't let the film snobs on here dissuade you from supporting this gem.
Fatal Error on Jan 11, 2010
I saw it last week at a special screening and I was disappointed. They did a great job building the world the story inhabits and they used the lore of vampires in inventive but respectful ways. A lot if it made me go "yeah, that actually makes a lot of sense" But the production values were uneven, some of the effects were terrible, but kudos on using practical effects and makeup instead of going cgi for the the most part. SPOILER --- Am I the only one who thinks they missed an obvious way to tie loose end in the plot at the end of the movie? They should have put the vampire/human blood which was the cure into the synthetic blood that was about to go into mass production. I heard a few other people leaving the theater commenting that... I guess they want to keep it open for a sequel. --- SPOILER/ All in all, an ok movie with a lot of missed potential - I get the same kind of vibe from Legion. I guess it was kinda fun.
anon on Jan 11, 2010
Just saw it a couple of nights ago. Yeah the story was kinda predictable but I was still thoroughly entertained. I loved the concept and how fully fleshed out the world was. As Ridley Scott once said about Blade Runner: "Sometimes the design is the statement." ---Some spoilers ahead--- Anyone else get the vibe that they were also making a comment on our culture of consumption? About the addictions to the way things are, and our fear and distaste for going back to a simpler, yet more fragile, way of life? Oil obviously is one metaphor, but all the coffee references in the film made me think they were taking a subtle shot at Starbuck's 🙂 BTW: How the hell can a Vamp drink coffee anyway? Guess it's better than glistening in the sun...
jasonmd2020 on Jan 13, 2010
just curious what fx looked bad in the film? like which specifically? I thought most of the FX in the film looked great, maybe some of the cheaper stuff but thats why I figure I'd ask which ones people were referring to the fire etc looked really amazing, especially at the end when they're all coming out into the sun
Neil Andrews on Jan 14, 2010
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