Every year I think that this will be the year we reach “maximum vampire saturation” in media and every year, something new comes out.  Most of it is kind of the same or derivative of this or that fang jockey, but Day Breakers is a different kind of vampire movie.

The concept is simple: the vampires won.  After an outbreak of some disease caused by bats, vampires took over the Earth and turned the remaining humans into cattle.  There’s a tiny resistance, but it’s all but squashed.  There are vampire products and boutiques and special gadgets for their every vampire need.  Ethan Hawke plays a vampire scientist trying to develop artificial blood to feed the masses.  With the blood supplies drying up, the vampires have no choice but to find something new to feed on.

Hawke’s character is conflicted, but his brother, played by Michael Dorman, is the character that has the real change.  At the beginning, he’s gungho, vampire soldier, but comes to question the “life”.  The whole movie is a metaphor about consumption, war and American society.  And, oh yeah, William DaFoe is in it too, as an ex-vampire that stumbled upon a cure.

Some of the movie’s plot devices are a bit convenient and Sam Neil is his usual evil self, but the movie really took a different track on vampire movies.  I have to admire that.  Some will argue that it’s still full of vampire hunting cliches and maybe the characters are a little flat here and there, but it’s interesting to see a genre film like this take a risk with a bigger, bolder statement.

Vampire purist might be bothered by some of the movie and people who can’t take monster movies seriously, will probably just laugh.  I liked it.  It’s totally worth seeing and it’s definitely something to put in your NetFlix cue.

I give Day Breakers 8 keggers out of 10.