I remember when this came out at the cinema. I was terribly excited about it, because its an Ethan Hawke film and I’ve grown to really like him. Throw Willem Defoe and Sam Neill into the mix and I’m as happy as Larry.
So… this film is about vampires in a not too distant future who have become so common place that the human race is reduced to about 5% of the overall world population. Yikes, right? Sounds bad for humans until you realise that the vampire’s food supply is running out. Now it sounds super-bad!
Cue vampire haematologist Ed Dalton (Ethan Hawke) who works tirelessly to produce a blood substitute to bolster the dwindling supply. This is particularly important since vampires who are unable to drink human blood in sustaining amounts are rapidly de-evolving into crazed, mindless monsters who will attack anybody (human or vampire) to find their next meal.
Sounds pretty good right? Even without the greedy pharmaceutical boss added into the mix.
I thought so; even before I knew that much about it.
But then I watched it. Not to say that it isn’t very well done and beautifully acted, but I just feel like something was missing from the whole film. I’m still struggling to put my finger on what that is; which is a pain because I don’t usually have a problem with venting about vampire films.
I very much liked how vampirism had become so normalised and that society had just adjusted itself to make sure that vampires fit. It pretty much had to happen in plot, since vampires were very much the top of the food chain. Seeing sparkly eyed creatures dolling out coffee, sweeping streets and conducting business deals was a special kind of treat for me that I really, really enjoyed. Even the subsiders – the result of severe blood deprived vampires – kept me happy. Ugly, bat-like things with freakish strength.
Still something irked me and I think it may well be the blood soaked ending and final scene. Both seemed lacking something that the rest of the film had been very much able to deliver with little or no effort. I don’t want to call it class (it is a vampire film after all) but I’m hard pressed to find another word for what was missing. I expected something much, much more from the ending and it just didn’t quite live up to the rest of the film for me.
Unfortunate, but I’m still very glad I watched it. It starts well and so long as you don’t expect masses from it, you may well feel different about it. Give it a watch if you have 90 mins spare.