Isn't the whole point of the movie kind of undermined by the fact they got a working blood substitute at the end? Oh great, you've "cured" everyone of their crippling case of living forever so they can get eaten by the others, who can't get a hold of the new invention that would have fixed the shortage problems because everyone involved has been eaten. What am I missing?
You're missing the part where they said that even with the substitute they would still farm the rest of the humans because the rich would still pay through the nose for real human blood. Genocide, slavery and rape aren't good things.
Your two choices in the world are to be a vampire (which not everyone wants to be, no matter how great you might think it sounds) or to be locked in a living hell constantly having your blood sucked out, and at the point where the substitute is developed, it's no longer a choice... you get caught being human, you're not even considered a sentient being, you are a resource. This was going to continue whether the substitute was developed or not, and oh, let's not forget that the blood substitute would only be produced by a single company run by an extremely amoral, if not outright evil, man. That means that he would have effectively ruled the world, and not only did he clearly intend to abuse his power for all it was worth, he intended to continue treating humans in a way that might have made Goebbels wince. Some might consider all of this a rather high price to pay for an eternity of being pretty.
Whereas a lot wouldn't.
In my opinion, is a false dichotomy to think that the only two posibilities would be: force the cure on everybody to save humanity or use the blood substitute to let people keep being vampires and doom the few remaining humans to being farmed to cater to a few corrupt millionaires. You now have a cure for the ones who don't want to be vampires and a blood substitite for the ones who want to be. And the guy who wanted to keep farming humans is already dead. There doesn't seem to be a real reason for everybody not being able to choose whatever he wanted to be. And with a big enough number of people chosing to take the cure, humans would have a large enough population to be able to defend their rights. You even could cater to this "real blood lovers" market with voluntary and well paid donations if there is a big enough number of humans to suply it. Even without the blood substitute, you could still make it work, the movie seems to want you to believe that the vampires absolubtely need human blood, but the fact is the protagonist has been drinking pig blood for five years with only now developing a mild case of pointy-earness, and is enough a little blood from the love interest girl to make it disappear. So there's no reason everybody could be feeding on pig blood and take a few mililitres of donated human blood every now and then to keep the ears in the proper shape. Hell, more than a few would delay the taking of human blood the maximum possible only to be able to look like an elf :-)
The humans have spent basically the last decade being hunted by exploitative undying assholes intent on draining their blood and exploiting them like cattle. Since, from their perspective, most of the people who would willingly choose to be vampires would be said exploitative undying assholes, they're probably not really in the mood to allow that to be an option right at present.
The idea of "blood donors" wouldn't work, because cured vampires couldn't be donors, so they'd have to wait at least one generation for human population to recover - when they sucked their original supply dry in only then years. And that's even ignoring the possibility, that the children of cured vampires may also contain the cure in their blood.
If the general vampire policy is that capturing humans as stock animals is ok, then why wouldn’t they also start breeding their captured stock? The amount of the captured humans may have not been enough to feed all vampires, but if they were careful on how often they were taking blood from them, they would’ve had a constantly growing number of humans under their control. They wouldn’t even need to keep them shackled to Matrix-style immobile structures — just define them as “citizens” who are required to provide blood to their country (similar to involuntary draft requirements) and prevent their escape.
It seems that a majority of the population converted to vampirism so quickly that it was too late to develop sustainable (positive) population control of the mortal humans. Even with controlled breeding programs, there wouldn't be time to build a sustainable population before most of the vampires starved to death.
You do see one of the farmed humans looking very visibly pregnant (like eights months and very naked), I so just assumed that the vampires were artificially inseminating their "livestock" in order to keep producing food.
Why did the vampire at the beginning kill herself via sunlight? Sounds incredibly painful. Sounded incredibly painful, come to think of it. Why not stake yourself or rig up a guillotine?
Because sunlight is the easiest thing to do. Staking yourself or constructing a guillotine is not exactly an easy thing. Especially the latter - if you don't do it right, it may very well take a few tries to cut off a head which is... not comfortable.
Waiting for the sun is passive - all you have to do it be out there. The human equivalent is jumping off a bridge - once that's done you just wait for the end. Actively harming yourself takes more guts.
For a vampire, making themselves stay under direct sunlight and burn would’ve been as instinctually impossible as for a human to keep their hand over a candle or keep themselves under water without being tied first.
You assume. Given that vampires, well, don't exist, we have no way of knowing what they do or don't find instinctually impossible. Could be, for a vampire it's just like walking into the ocean and waiting for the tide to carry you off as a method of suicide; just passively wait and let the natural environment do its thing.
Why did that one hummer try to pursue the heroes across the overhanging railroads? At least others were smart enough to stop.
Because sometimes people are idiots. I guess sometimes vampires are idiots as well.
Why did they wait for Elvis’s colleague right in front of his front door? “We’re going to deliberately show how we don’t trust you by keeping a crossbow aimed at you after breaking into your house, but we’re not going to make sure first that you have no way of calling more vampires down on us (and — by all means — go ahead and answer that unidentified call out of our line of sight).”
Why don't the vampires just use chimeras to grow human blood? We already have animals such as rabbits and pigs that have human blood; raising and harvesting chimeras would greatly reduce the time and resources needed to farm human blood.
For all we know, they were; but farming human blood from animals still wasn't yielding enough supply to meet demand. Our protagonist was drinking pig's blood, some small talk with his colleagues revealed that gangs of rogue vampires were out digging up graves hoping to find a little spare blood in the corpses interred there (mostly in vain, however), and a background news report indicated that firefighters out west were having trouble with forest fires due to wildlife victims of vampire poaching bursting into flames with the sunrise. We don't know exactly how much blood the vampires needed to keep their population adequately fed each day, but it seems to have been enough to overwhelm even the world's animal population.
Why didn't humans use guns instead of crossbows to better defend themselves?
Presumably ordinary bullets don't do enough damage to vampire physiology.
They camp out in the wilderness. I think it's safe to assume that crossbow bolts, which are reusable, would be easier to produce then bullets. Even further, it's hard to employ stealth if you are lugging around a roaring shotgun. And if that is not good enough, Rule of Cool.
These are more classical vampires. They're probably Immune to Bullets, which is also likely why their soldiers don't have chest armor. Humans figuring out how to effectively stake them is probably a fairly new development.
Staking... Vampires... New development? That's like saying "Well, they probably just realized recently that their pet fish needed water to survive."
Do we know that Vampires were depicted in media in this universe? It's possible that nobody had a clue about any sort of vampires before the virus hit.
He/she actually said that figuring out how to EFFECTIVELY stake them was a fairly new development. These are weapons specifically designed to stake vampires at long range, and we don't have anything like that in our time, so his/her point is still valid.
Apparently it's only been TEN YEARS since the outbreak first started. TEN. And yet everyone is still living in a nice, advanced metropolis where people can drive cars outfitted with 390 degree cameras. I'm sorry, but that is complete bullshit. Even barring the severe social upheaval and trauma from 95% of the world's population being turned into vampires, the sheer economic changes would take at least several decades to recover from. Since mostly everyone is a vampire, that means the animal, agriculture, and water industries would be almost entirely obselete. The effeciency of other industries would be dramatically halved since workers can only be outside for half the day without heavy protective clothing. You're talking about completely earth-shaking alterations of a society and this is all supposed to happen ... in ten years. Buuullshit. Try setting this movie in 2060 and we'll talk.
To be fair, we get an impression from news casts that the situation is very different in the rest of the world, especially in the "third world" countries. We also see many signs that the vampire world is a far different place than the human one, such as "children" hanging around in the middle of the "work day" (night), smoking and so on. I think it's safe to assume that not everything is "nice and advanced."
There's that one homeless vampire so maybe not everyone lives in nice houses with flashy cars. We only really see Norton's house and he's working in the one industry which is definitely booming (blood) so of course he's rich.
Actually, the real question is how the vampires' food supply lasted so long as it did. Consider an argument I once heard from a children's book against the existence of vampires: supposing there really were a vampire, and he had to feed at least once every week to stay alive, and every time he fed, his victim became another vampire? Do the math, and you come to realize that 32 weeks later, you'd have upwards of four billion vampires, which at the time was more than the entire population of the world. (Flash forward to today, and all you'd need is to reach week 33 for the vampire population to reach upwards of eight billion, which is more than Earth's current human population.) Since you're not a vampire and aren't seeing any of these enormous armies of them that ought to exist, there never was such a thing as a vampire, right? Now obviously, the Daybreakers vampires found a solution in their blood extraction technology so that they didn't end up turning everyone into a vampire, but one has to ask: how quickly did they manage to develop it? They couldn't have had much time, especially if the period between feedings was less than a week. How did they manage to stave off the blood riots, cannibalism, and descent into a subsider apocalypse for ten whole years?
Bloodletting has been done for about two thousand years before the movie even takes place. I haven't seen the movie, so maybe there's some difficulty I'm missing, but if not, blood extraction is not an issue.
Also, a lot of vampires would have been killed during the early stages, and killing off vampires early on really slows the progression down.
Creepiest of all, it's not impossible that vampirism not only enhances your physical strength but your tactical/strategic thinking; a vamp might have thought the above through, and instead he would kill his victim first, THEN drain all the blood and discard the corpse, thus preventing competition for human blood. As nobody knows how much blood a vampire needs, it's possible one fully grown humans 5 liters could sustain it for several weeks, so they need to murder maybe just once a month, and probably gravitate to lawless countries or war zones where people disappear or are murdered frequently, so as not to arouse suspicion.
While there's no indication that vampires are that much smarter or stronger than humans, it certainly stands to reason that as indicated in many other ways in the film, the vampires continue to be complex individuals with many competing agendas. Where some loner types were pragmatically looking to limit their competition by quietly murdering and draining people one at a time as suggested, other more extroverted types and big believers in teamwork might well have been deliberately biting people early and often to increase their ranks into an army capable of taking over the world. A debate at the beginning of the film also indicates that back when humans still ruled the world, a number of vampires tried a more diplomatic approach (probably politely asking humanity to donate blood to feed them), and were rejected. Even with all these complexities, it would be interesting to know how it took a whole decade for vampires to get the upper hand over humanity and then begin to starve. One would think that in all that time, more of them would have realized the ongoing increase in the vampire population and decrease in the human population was not going to be a sustainable model for their civilization very much longer.
The humans move a convoy of humans to safety at night. How very smart! Not only when the vampires have the least trouble getting around, but when you can't see them coming! True, the vampires can get around in the day as well as the night with their tanks and uniforms, but at least the humans could have seen them coming. Idiot Ball, indeed.
I got the impression that normally they wouldn't, but they felt that time was short. There were blood riots in most of the world's cities and it didn't seem like the blood supply would last long. The humans decided to take the risk before the world was overrun with subsiders.
I thought it made a bit of sense, surely there are a few day-time cops (like there are night-time ones in real life) who get bored and just pull over anybody that just might be up to something. A convoy of trucks in the middle of the day might have drawn suspicion whereas normally a bunch of cars driving around at night wouldn't have raised an eye.
I'm pretty sure that the driver mentions over the radio that there was some delay. But even that aside, they were heading into enemy territory to rescue survivors. That could be a several hour drive into the city from the wilderness. Now, even if you put aside things like vampire day cops and delays, what do you think they should have done? It's not like they can drive into town, pick up survivors, and then set up tents in a cozy back alley at night when they are most vulnerable. I'd sure as hell rather try to make the mad dash home then set up camp on the enemies doorstep, especially when it's painfully apparent they are actively being tracked.
If vampirism is transferred via some form of virus, then how in the world does it cause them to stop reflecting in mirrors?
Is really said is caused by a virus? It seems to have a lot of the traits of the classic supernatural vampirism. No virus could make you ageless and immune to bulets, or make your body inmediatly catch flames when direct sunlight touches your skin.
It spreads like a virus but the actual cause is left Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane at best. For all we know, calling it a virus was the closest way scientists could classify the outbreak and the description stuck.
Who says viruses can't be magic?
And speaking of mirrors, more a nitpick than a headscratcher and maybe I'm not remembering this correctly, but wasn't the accident in the begining, when Edward and Audrey meet, caused by Edward looking at his pointy ears in his car's vanity mirror? After we had seen his empty clothes in the rear-view mirror in an earlier scene? Being a vampire gives you selective reflectiveness? :-)
The scene clearly shows him using an in-car camera which projects his image on a screen. Apparently vampires have no reflection but do show up on camera.
What happened to all those humans? Who killed them? At first I thought the vamp senator went crazy but he was among the dead.
The same type of human-hunting vampire team that attacked the convoy. Since the vampire population is starving, even vampires in the squads are showing less restraint and just ripping apart humans in order to feed on every drop. The vampire senator was killed by the other vampires for being a traitor.
What about vampire offspring? There's no way I can imagine that to turn out well. If they are born as humans, they will get taken away to milk them for their blood their entire lifes (which probably won't be long). If they are born as vampires, they stay infants forever. And if vampires are infertile in the first place, they are fated to die out sooner or later, because nobody who dies or turns into a subsider can ever be replaced.