By the year 2019, a Vampire plague has overtaken the world. Vampires make up 95% of the population and all of its citizens and their legitimate governments. The humans are outlaws and hide mostly in the wilderness where they're hunted like animals.
The first quarter of the movie sets up the all-vampire society with minimal dialogue; the art direction and atmospherics help sell the reality of this world. To keep the sun from destroying them, wealthier vampires drive special cars with shields to block out the sunlight while ordinary citizens make their way through the cities using a massive network of underground streets whenever they have to be awake during the day. Blood is harvested from humans
in Matrix-like collection farms and sold to citizens at coffee bars.
As captured humans are tapped out and the supply of free-ranging fugitives is dwindling, the blood supply is running dry. Ethan Hawke plays a man made a vampire against his will who's researching a means for synthesizing blood out of sympathy for the humans' plight, and finds himself falling in with a band of fugitives who claim to have found a cure for vampirism. Sam Neill
plays his boss, a deliciously evil
vampire who insists on developing a blood substitute instead of a cure so he can retain and expand his market share.
This film provides examples of: