Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DAYBREAKERS (2009) movie review

Daybreakers (2009) d. Spierig, Michael/Spierig, Peter (Australia/USA)

The boys from Down Under follow up their high-energy, low-budget zombie flick Undead with a vampire epic that starts off with such promising and well-developed mythology that it’s more than a little disappointing when it devolves into “small band of rebels vs. the all-controlling corporate powers” action clich├ęs, complete with predictable last minute double crosses and irksome jump scares (in this case, in the form of annoying vampire bat shrieks).

This is not to say Daybreakers is a bad movie, because it isn’t. Filled with capable performances from Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, Claudia Karvan (the Famke Janssen ringer who appeared in 2008’s Long Weekend update) and an especially enthusiastic Willem Dafoe, as well as gorgeously stylized cinematography and production design, there’s a lot to admire from the Spierig Brothers in terms of presentation. But with two variations on all-too-familiar themes under their belts, one hopes that their next venture exhibits more than just inspired repackaging.

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