Reviewed on 2010 May 14
I am always intrigued by a unique spin on a vampire movie, so long as they don’t glitter, and when I heard the premise of this was a world where vampires were the majority and humans were literally farmed for their blood, I was intrigued. As it was, it was a mix of brilliance and inanity, and I’m glad I rented the thing online instead of dropping $10 or more in the theater.
In 2019, the world is overrun with vampires, and here we have neither shiny pretty goth vampires nor hairy-eared knuckle-dragging were-bats; this world has the dark look of Metropolis or Blade Runner’s L.A. The bloodsuckers themselves look almost like us, albeit with vivid eyes (these creatures can’t take sun exposure either; the cars the vampire riche drive are a riot) and the women have a Mildred Pierce thing going with their fashions. We learn that something (not clear what exactly) caused the emergence of the vampires, and it was a case of adapt or die. A few welcome the change: Charles Bromley (Sam Neill) absolutely embraces his new persona for several reasons, one of which is that he’s CEO of a huge firm specializing in providing blood to the new race. One employee, Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke), is not happy with his new persona and tries to cope by immerses himself in his work of finding a human blood substitute. There’s more than a moral imperative here: the food supply is running low.
The beginning was amazing but the movie ran out of steam quickly, and there was one bit that was supposed to be horrifying but just made me think of Monty Python doing “Sam Peckinpah’s Salad Days”. The acting was decent and the dialogue was good, with Willem Dafoe having almost too much fun as a character nicknamed Elvis. There are some almost stomach-turningly good special effects too.
Two chocolate morsels. Not the best of the bunch but it has its moments, and it’s original without completely shredding every vestige of the vampire mythos.