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Film / Daybreakers

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Daybreakers is a 2009 Sci-Fi Horror film written and directed by Australian filmmakers The Spierig Brothers.

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. To keep the sun from destroying them, wealthier vampires drive special cars with shields to block out 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 number of free-ranging fugitives is dwindling, the blood supply is running dry. Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke), who was made a vampire against his will, is a hematologist who's researching a means for synthesizing blood out of sympathy for the humans' plight. He soon finds himself falling in with a band of fugitives who claim to have found a cure for vampirism. His boss Charles Bromley (Sam Neill), a deliciously evil vampire, insists on developing a blood substitute instead of a cure so he can retain and expand his market share.

This film provides examples of:

  • Always Chaotic Evil: The subsiders. The regular vampires feed on blood but retain enough human qualities for some of them to even be sympathetic characters, but the subsiders are feral monsters that kill on sight and prey on vampires and humans alike.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Near the ending, Christopher tries to gun Edward and Audrey down while apologizing for it.
  • Automatic Crossbows: The humans use pump-action crossbows (with flick-out bow section) against the vampire military.
  • Badass Pacifist: Bromley's daughter Allison, who refuses to drink anyone's blood but her own after being turned.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Blood-starved vampires degenerate into mindless werebat-like "subsiders" that terrify the regular vampires. One of the early news feeds implies that it was a bat that started the entire vampire infection.
  • Being Evil Sucks: It certainly does once the food supply starts to run out and citizens get hungry and start mutating.
  • Berserk Button: Bromley gets really touchy about anything involving his estranged daughter. As intended, Edward's calling him a coward for sending Frankie to bite her instead of doing it himself pushes him over the edge.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Alison chooses to let herself turn into a subsider and be killed than live as a vampire.
  • Big Red Button: Bromley has one in his office, which he uses to summon the vampire patrol.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Yes, our heroes found a cure, but it's not clear whether it'll work on the subsiders, they still face considerable opposition to administering it (not to mention that getting fed on tends to be fatal from the wounds), and casualties from the worldwide war between humans and vampires will surely continue to mount.
  • Big Damn Heroes: First Frankie, and then Elvis turn up in the lobby just in time to save the heroes.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The truly epic failure of the first test subject for the blood substitute is so brutally abrupt, one's reaction may well be a sort of horrified breath of laughter.
  • Body Horror: The Subsiders full stop. Vampires that have fed on vampire blood mutates them into feral monsters whose arms devolve into bat like wings and feet develop into bat like feet. It's truly horrifying to see.
  • Book Ends: The very first and very final shot of the movie is of a Vampire Bat jumpscaring the audience.
  • Break the Cutie: Frankie, infecting Bromley's daughter.
  • Broken Aesop: The film set in a world of vampires and a dwindling supply of blood is basically one long analogy for our dependance on oil. Which is fine right up until the end where they create a substitute for blood which gives us not, "don't blindly waste resources and deal with the problem before it becomes a problem" but "blindly waste resources and science will stop the collapse of civilization just in the nick of time." It gets further broken when you consider that alternatives to fossil-fuels already exist; they're just not yet economical.
    • Comparing dependency on oil to the diet vampires are biologically hardwired with also doesn't work too well. People technically don't need oil, while vampires have no choice but to drink blood; most of them are unaware there is a cure and they are physically incapable of consuming anything else.
    • After the cure is found, Bromley declares that he'll continue harvesting human blood as a delicacy. This is necessary for the story to still have conflict, but doesn't really fit into the oil metaphor very well.
  • Cat Scare: Very subtly riffed and subverted. The movie pulls the "loud noise and rushing object from off-screen scare" precisely three times, always with an infection-free bat. In contrast, the first time we get a good look at one of the subsiders, it emerges slowly, silently, and somewhat solemnly from the shadows.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Senator Turner, the politician seen arguing on behalf of the humans in a background news broadcast from the opening scene.
  • City Noir: Apathetic citizens shuffle though a maze of overbearing black skyscrapers and Sinister Subways as sirens wail in the background.
  • Cool Car:
    • Vampire cars are very sleek and have a wide variety of gadgets to make them suitable for daytime driving (cameras, blacked-out windows, etc.)
    • Cormac also owns a couple of very awesome muscle cars.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Sam Neill's character Charles Bromley is every bit this in his own charming way.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: The last shot of Frankie is of him lying on the floor, his legs straight and arms outstretched after sacrificing himself holding back his former comrades so that Audrey and Edward could get away.
  • Cure for Cancer: When a human is turned into a vampire, it cures all of their ailments, including cancer. It also freezes their bodies at the age they were when they turned. Too bad they can only drink human blood which is in very short supply. That is, until a working substitute is found near the end
  • Curse That Cures: Bromley was dying of cancer until he got turned into a vampire, which is one of the reasons he's actually grateful for the change.
  • Death Is Dramatic: Alison's execution, where she is being dragged down the hallway and finally goes up in flames together with the other subsiders.
  • Defiant to the End: Even after transforming into a subsider, Alison is still able to recognize and lash out at Frankie, staring him down as she's pulled into the sunlight.
  • Diesel Punk: Even though it's set in the future, it has a substantial Diesel Punk aesthetic.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Society is running out of a resource that it needs to keep functioning. Those in charge of procuring it insist they can always find new supplies of it somewhere. At the same time, they are searching for an alternative more easily renewable resource, but have no plans to alter the selfish behavior that brought about this shortage in the first place. Society's last hope is a scientist who was never very happy with exploiting this resource in the first place and refuses to consume it himself. This movie certainly uses a lot of the classic tropes one finds in a conservationist movie with a Post-Peak Oil Green Aesop.
    • While reminiscent of peak oil and fossil fuel depletion in general, it's also reminiscent of any number of scarcity issues, corporate ethics issues, and the like. Maven of the Eventide noted in her video on the film that, ten years later, its metaphor is just as applicable to Global Warming, with the vampires' short-sighted destruction of vital resources quite possibly leading to their extinction.
    • Blood-deprived vampires turn into subsiders, and the non-deprived consider these Feral Vampires a threat. Of course, the reason the subsiders are starving is that they tend to be poor, homeless, outcast or otherwise "undesirable" members of society. The government decides on a Final Solution. At the hands of the military, the subsiders are hunted down, chained up and mass-executed by a death march into the sunlight, which reduces them to ash and smoke.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • The vampire girl in the prologue, who kills herself by sitting outside during the sunrise. Promotional material for the film reveals that she was in fact Patient Zero. It's implied that she committed suicide because Not Growing Up Sucks, with the guilt of starting a worldwide outbreak that transformed everyone into blood-thirsty vampires playing a part too.
    • Another reason for her suicide is probably the fact that both vampires and humans are now an endangered species; if humans go extinct, vampires will lose their food supply and turn into ravenous monsters.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Everything needed to solve the problems is present by the end; we just aren't shown the more tedious business of actually doing this. It may also qualify as an And the Adventure Continues ending.
  • Epic Fail: The first blood substitute test ends poorly.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Played with. During the car chase one of the human hunters' cars crashes and there's a huge explosion. But it isn't the car that blows up from the crash, it's the vampires inside of the car who blow up when the long sharp metal beams go clear through the windshield and stake them.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Bromley's intention to keep selling human blood even after a safe blood substitute goes to market, since some people will always pay a premium for the real thing — never mind that it's coming from People Farms that are no longer necessary for the vampires' survival.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Chris seems like a friend who Edward can trust with information about the cure. Unfortunately, in Edward's absence, the situation with the synthetic blood has changed. He decides he'd rather stay a vampire and rats Edward out.
  • Faceless Goons: Averted and played straight (with the sun visors).
  • Faux Action Girl: Audrey; she gets captured no less than three times, and the men are called upon to save her every time.
  • Feral Vampires: Subsiders. These aggressive mindless Bat People are the mutated form of vampires deprived of blood.
  • Food Chain of Evil: Subsiders -> Vampires -> Humans. However, subsiders will eagerly take human blood whenever they can get it. Feeding off vampire blood (including one's own) accelerates a vampire's mutation into a subsider.
  • A Glass of Chianti:
    • Given a unique twist: real human blood is extremely rare in this universe, so when Frankie brings home a bottle of the genuine article as a peace offering to his brother, it's the equivalent of sharing a rare vintage wine.
    • Played absolutely straight with Bromley kidnapping Audrey and draining her blood into a wine glass. Bit of a waste, under the circumstances, but perhaps he didn't want that being used as leverage against him.
  • Gorn: Seen in the army-feeding scene, and in the aftermath of one of the vampire raids.
  • Heal It with Blood: The blood of people who have been cured of vampirism transmits the cure to vampires who drink it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Double subverted with Frankie. He finally joins his brother and the other humans. In a fit of Horror Hunger, he attacks Elvis the very next moment. However, because Humanity Is Infectious, he turns human to complete his Heel–Face Turn and subsequently redeems himself.
  • Heel Realization: Frankie finally grows a conscience as he watches the subsiders executed. One hideously mutated girl recognizes him and snarls in rage. He recognizes her: Alison Bromley, who he recently turned. Frankie can't do anything but watch as she is dragged into the sunlight. She stares back, shrieking furiously as she burns to death and crumbles into ash. Meanwhile his fellow soldiers cheer, despite the fact that they are showing signs of withdrawal and beginning to mutated themselves. His Thousand-Yard Stare indicates he just got a clear look at the evil he's done.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Frankie again. He offers himself up to a group of starving vampires in order to buy time for his brother to get away.
  • Hero of Another Story: Audrey, with her resistance movement, and Internal Reformist Senator Turner feel like examples of this.
  • Horror Hunger:
    • Blood deprivation is what made the subsiders the way they are. Abstaining is not an option.
    • There are several moments when hungry vampires cannot control themselves. A desperate patron attacks a barista, and Frankie impulsively attacks Elvis even after deciding to help the humans.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • In some of the images/videos which briefly explain how the world came to be vampire-dominated at the start of the film, one sees indications that the vampires initially attempted diplomacy with humanity, but their envoys were rejected.
    • In turn, this explains a lot of the vampires' cruelty toward the remaining humans: the vampires are as human as ever in everything except their anatomy and consequent craving for blood.
  • Human Resources: The vampires "farm" the humans as their food supply.
  • Humanity Ensues: This happens to Charles Bromley. Edward Dalton then sends him down the elevator, to where an army of starving vampires are waiting. Hilarity Ensues, albeit very bloody and macabre kind of hilarity.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Literally. The best cure for vampirism is the blood of an ex-vampire.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Played relatively straight twice.
    • First, between Frankie and Edward. Edward admits to Audrey that his brother turned him, and he still resents him for it, though he still loves him. Frankie regrets turning him, but insists he thought it necessary.
    • Second, Charles Bromley and his estranged daughter Alison. She violently rejects all of her father's attempts to persuade her. After he has Frankie turn her for him, she refuses all blood rations and starts feeding from herself to hasten her mutation into a subsider until he has the Army execute her. When he pays her a visit in her cell, she even attempts to force her father to drink her blood.
  • Idiot Ball: The convoy of humans that gets ambushed is only in that position because they decided to travel under cover of darkness when they're being hunted by vampires. Vampires are capable of hunting during the day, too, but they're more vulnerable then and the humans would have the tactical advantage.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Even after witnessing his own daughter refuse human blood and force others to kill her after she's turned into a vampire, Bromley continues to focus on a blood substitute rather than a cure.
  • The Immune: Anyone cured of vampirism is immune to the change, and cures the feeder. The only problem is surviving the violent feeding frenzy that inevitably ensues when one is suddenly placed in a crowd of hungry vampires.
  • Industrialized Evil: A Vampire Apocalypse has forced humans to near extinction, and the remaining people are plugged in as living plasma batteries in farms.
  • It's All About Me: The most likely explanation for why Chris wanted his blood substitute to go ahead rather than Edward's newly-discovered cure; he wanted to be the one to 'save the world', either for the money or the reputation he would earn as a result.
  • Jabba Table Manners:
    • After the blood ration is cut to 5% a riot breaks out at a coffee booth, with vampires greedily slurping up broken blood bags even as they're subdued by riot police. Even the coffee vendors join in the feeding frenzy.
    • When a subsider enters Edward's home it desperately licks blood off the wall and from a puddle full of shattered glass.
  • Just Desserts: Bromley is ripped limb from limb and devoured by his own vampire minions after he is turned back into a human against his will.
  • Karmic Death:
    • The vampire bureaucracy was treating humans like cattle; in the end head bureaucrat Charles Bromley ends up being slaughtered like one.
    • Also, the vampires who eat Frankie immediately become human. Unfortunately for them, they do so within sight of a small army of starving vampires who subsequently devour them just as messily.
    • Then the surviving ex-vampires are shown clutching their stomachs and looking seriously nauseated at realizing what they've just done a few moments before a much less hungry vampire bursts in and mows them all down with a sub-machine gun.
    • The sheer Laser-Guided Karma of this is nicely summed up by Edward:
      Edward: Welcome back to humanity. Now you get to die!
  • Karmic Transformation: After years of farming humans for profit, Bromley gets tricked into taking the cure (Edward's blood) and turning human.
  • Kill All Humans: Vampire Uncle Sam wants you to capture humans!
  • Knockout Ambush: As humans have to be captured alive.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: The vampires make good use of modern technology, developing day-proofed cars and sunlight-blocking body armor.
  • Kill the Cutie: Alison Bromley. See the I Hate You, Vampire Dad entry above. Guilty and horrified at seeing his fellow soldiers cheering on Alison's execution, Frankie ultimately decides to switch sides.
  • Large Ham: Willem Dafoe is having a LOT of fun here. Of course, it's not every day he gets to be a good guy, so he probably wanted to make the most of it.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
    • The first test of blood substitute. That's one way to paint a room if you want the whole thing in a rusty red coloring.
    • Also, vampires will quite literally explode into flaming chunks when staked, sometimes knocking over the furniture if this occurs in an enclosed space.
  • Made of Explodium: Staked vampires, and any vampire exposed to the sunlight for very long. This applies to any kind of vampire, and the heat of the explosion is a real hazard: according to a television news report in the background in one scene, the vampires have been having a lot of trouble with forest fires caused by exploding vampire wildlife. As one of these traditional vampires' traditional traits, however, decapitation doesn't produce the same reaction.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: The first blood substitute test.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Bromley, turning Frankie against his brother and using him to infect Alison.
  • Meaningful Name: Elvis's nickname is a Shout-Out to the Elvis Presley song "Burning Love" because he went from being an immortal vampire to a warm-blooded human, by accidentally setting himself on fire.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: Feeding on other vampires or themselves accelerates the starving masses' transformation into subsiders. By the ending, even the relatively-well-fed company troops are so ravenous that when some of their own number are turned human by feeding on a recently-cured Frankie, their not-yet-cured comrades pounce on the restored soldiers and tear them to pieces for their blood. Only to be torn apart in turn when they get cured by Frankie's blood.
  • More Predators Than Prey: The vampires have spread so rapidly that they by now massively outnumber the humans.. and as such are starving to death for lack of sufficient blood.
  • Mortal Wound Reveal: Played with, in the scene where Bromley realizes he was stabbed by his daughter. The wound doesn't turn out to be fatal, though.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Vampires hunt humans for their blood, and have little choice but to use tranquilizer darts to ensure they capture them alive. Humans, on the other hand, use stake-loaded crossbows with impressive accuracy, and are shooting to kill.
  • Must Make Amends: Frankie, redeeming himself for his sins with a You Shall Not Pass!.
  • Naked Nutter: The first subsider encountered in the film is so crazed with hunger that he's resorted to feeding on himself, and has stripped completely naked - the better to show off his winged, inhuman body.
  • The Necrocracy: The film postulates a near future society much like our own but governed by vampires, after most of the population turn into vampires. The remaining humans who have refused to be turned are farmed/hunted down for their blood.
  • No Seat Belts: The accident that turned Elvis human sent him crashing through the windshield to fly through the sunlit air and plummet into a lake. The car he was driving was an early 1950s model year, so maybe he never installed seat belts... when he was extensively modding it for daylight driving. He was also suffering from blood deprivation, so it may have had seat belts that he simply chose not to use in his currently poor judgement. And driving at high speeds in daylight is pretty reckless in itself, so it's all part of the danger thrill.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed:
    • The film starts out with a transhuman utopia of immortal, disease-proof vampires, whose only real weakness is a dependence on increasingly scarce human blood. The villain's nefarious plan is to come up with a working substitute for human blood and keep all the other benefits. The hero's plan is to turn everybody back into frail, feeble humans.
    • Sunshine is also lethal to vampires, and children are rendered incapable of maturing physically. Whether vampires can get pregnant or reproduce the natural way is never addressed. Either way, immortality comes with complications. All the same, no one ever suggests making a cure mandatory, just available.
    • Bromley also makes clear that he has no intention of ever letting the captive humans go. Instead, he plans to continue selling genuine human blood to high-paying clients who prefer the real thing to the substitute, just as many people prefer the taste of real meat to any substitute.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: At least one vampire child takes this point of view in a very disturbing scene from the opening showing a "preteen" committing suicide by sunlight. While this has no direct effect on the story, it does establish that not everyone in this society is happy with this kind of eternal youth.
  • Offscreen Teleportation:
    • Put to humorous use at one point when a human pops up behind Edward, spooking him. Occurs from time to time during the rest of the movie, too.
    • Later, Frankie manages to sneak up behind Audrey while she's in the middle an open field. Of course, he's a trained soldier, and her being in broad daylight gives her a false sense of security.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Bromley is made human again after drinking Edward's blood, he's tied to a chair and sent down in an elevator to a squadron of waiting vampire soldiers...who are all starving. Bromley has a clear moment of panic when he sees them, before they pounce on him and tear him apart.
    • Likewise, after the soldiers who feed on Frankie turn back into humans, they all have this reaction when they realise they're now surrounded by their hungry vampire squadmates, who are all staring at them as if they were a steak dinner.
  • Our Vampires Are Different:
    • Surprisingly averted. For all the "viral outbreak" talk and Edward's very empirical scientific approach to vampirism as a disease, the vampires in this story display all the classic supernatural attributes from more traditional stories: they must feed on blood regularly, do not have reflections in a mirror (however they do appear on camera), will burn at the slightest touch of sunlight, and will explode in a spectacular ball of flame when staked.
    • If deprived of human blood for a time, vampires will revert to a twisted state with no hair, pointed ears, and their arms turning into bat-like wings, their minds also reverting to an apparently animal intelligence. They pretty much Look Like Orlok.
    • The scene where the artificial blood is tested suggests they have some sort of vital signs and a need to breathe, so may not be wholly undead, despite their classic vulnerabilities and lack of heartbeat.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-universe. After hearing that one of the first symptoms of becoming a subsider is the ears beginning to taper to a point, Edward begins carefully examining his ears in a mirror.
  • People Farms: Humans are kept suspended in huge halls and farmed for their blood. That said, the plot revolves around the problem that Vampires are consuming their stock faster than they can breed them.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Edward volunteers to have the humanity-restoring process tested on himself, but this is justified because it's not like they have a supply of willing participants.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given by Bromley to Edward during the film's climax.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The vampire government official who hides and protects the humans while they work on a cure for vampirism. All he asks in return is some willingly donated blood so he can stay sane.
    Senator Turner: Hey, being a vampire and a politician, it can be hard to make friends.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • Frankie spends the majority of the film as a lapdog of the government, intent on hunting down humans and reining in his own brother. Towards the end of the film he repents, becomes human, and dies in his very next scene.
    • Also, the initial cure for vampirism plays with this trope, as in order to become human again, both Elvis and Edward have to absorb (in controlled doses) enough sunlight to kill a vampire.
  • Retro Universe: Technically takes place ten years into the future. (It was released in 2009, but takes place in 2019.) Yet if not for the near-future tech, people generally have reverted to a 1930s-40s atmosphere.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Played straight, except that it's the sunrise.
  • Scars are Forever: Almost all vampires have a scar on their neck from when they themselves were turned. It's also how Elvis proves that he was formerly a vampire.
  • Scenery Based Societal Barometer: The subway is used no less than three times to gauge the current state of vampire society. At the beginning of the film, when blood stocks are still relatively plentiful, the platform is calm and orderly, with commuters casual, the refreshments stand still selling coffee with 20% blood, and apart from the "CAPTURE HUMANS" advert in the background, it could be any train station... but a quick pan down reveals that two Subsiders are hiding under the platform. Towards the middle of the film, the train station is in shambles as global blood supplies run low: the commuters are beginning to visibly degenerate, exhibiting pointed ears and junkie-like shivering fits; soldiers can be seen hauling people away in the background, and actually have to suppress a riot at the coffee stand; worse still, an entire pack of Subsiders is hiding under the platform. By the end, the train station is filthy and deserted except for the huge group of Subsiders living under it - and the troops sent in to wipe them out; fittingly, the "Capture Humans" sign has been vandalized to read "CAPTURED ALL HUMANS. NOW WHAT?"
  • Sinister Subway: Infested with subsiders. The situation gets worse when the rationed blood shots drop below 5%.
  • Sole Surviving Scientist: In an interesting variation of the scenario Edward (first when he's working on a blood substitute and later when investigating the chance of a cure) is the only vampire scientist still on the humans side, even though there are plenty other experts out there.
  • Suicide by Sunlight: The vampire girl in the opening goes out this way, tired of being trapped in an ageless child body.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: This is played completely straight as one symptom of vampirism. Vampire eyes are brilliant and slightly retro-reflective like a cat's.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • You don't have to be a math prodigy to figure this out: what happens when vampires multiply their ranks to the point that they rule the world and have drunk humanity down to the brink of extinction? They starve.
    • It's mentioned in a news report towards the beginning that vampiric animals are causing forest fires when the sun rises. Just because flames are magical in nature doesn't mean they won't set things alight, and animals won't know to hide from the sun like a human will.
  • Tested on Humans: Vampires, as the case may be, but, per the setting, same principle. The first test subject for the blood substitute is a military volunteer. The results aren't pretty. Edward tests the cure on himself.
  • Terminally Dependent Society: This vampire civilization depends on keeping enough humans alive to manufacture its blood. Apparently, most of them didn't think to do the math and realize their supply can't last at the rate they're using it. The current scramble to get a substitute in place suggests that they have now caught on, but they've only had ten years... They're already rationing blood before the movie starts and are throwing everything they can at preventing the collapse.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Most of the vampires seem to consider humans to be a separate species and lesser form of life. This is despite The Virus only having been around for the last ten years and some of them were still human up until five years ago.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: When Edward and Audrey are captured, cured Edward is pushing Bromley to feed on him because Frankie was cured after biting cured Elvis. We aren't told this until quite a bit after the scene.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: Even the non-fatal bites look really painful.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Edward. He typically drinks animal blood but still suffers the beginning stages of deprivation and is shown to be developing a subsider's pointy ears. Never clarified is whether this is because the type of blood he was drinking is less effective or simply because of a general shortage, as both human and animal blood are indicated to be getting more difficult to procure.
    • Frankie gives him an expensive gift: a bottle of genuine human blood. He assures Edward it is much better than the pig's blood he subsists on. Edward pours the bottle down the drain in disgust.
    • When Audrey notices he is weak and tired, she offers him her blood. When he objects, he is told That Wasn't a Request. As Edward drinks the much-needed blood he looks defeated and ashamed.
    • Dalton looks at a vast People Farm with horror; it seems to inform both his personal aversion to human blood and his urge to find another solution.
    • By the end, inverted by Bromley. Even with the artificial substitute available, rich connoisseurs like him will still want the real thing. He has no plans to stop preying on humans.
  • Villain World:
    • From the point of the humans, vampires have taken over the world and are hunting them down to put them in a farm and gradually suck them dry.
    • On the other hand, the film goes to some length to show us that vampires are still very much human and well aware of their moral failings and limitations, rather than Always Chaotic Evil monsters that revel in their predatory nature. It also shows why in other fiction vampires don't do the same, since without a thriving population of humans to feed on they are slowly starving to death.
  • Viral Transformation:
    • The second cure to vampirism turns whoever feeds on ex-vampires human again, allowing for a spread just as rapid as vampirism itself was.
    • The 2009 outbreak of vampirism turned 95% of Earth's human population into vampires within a year. Ten years on, they practically run the world.
    • If a vampire feeds on vampire blood, it will turn them insane and mutate them into monsters.
  • The Virus: Vampirism, naturally. To the surprise of many, so is the cure.
  • Voluntary Vampire Victim: Audrey intuitively knows Edward has not drunk blood in a while and, though he protests, she draws her own blood into a cup and gives it to him.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The first vampire they test the blood substitute on has a particularly nasty one, right before he explodes, splattering every available surface of the room with his blood.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Discussed; Bromley explains that he's actually grateful for the change since he was dying of cancer as a human. However, some characters, including Edward, are rather weary of never being able to grow old.
    Edward: "Yeah well, life is a bitch ain't it? Then you don't die."
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Edward's colleague hesitates for a second to gun him down. Too bad for him.
  • You Are Who You Eat: Vampires who are deprived of human blood turn into subsiders.
    • If vampires drink vampire blood, whether that of others or their own, they will mutate much faster.
    • As established in an early scene, one tends to lead to the other: deprivation tempts vampires to feed on themselves and each other.
    • In a much more literal sense, cured human blood turns vampires human again.
  • Your Head A-Splode: The first blood substitute still has some kinks to work out.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Frankie, giving himself up to the enemy horde in his attempt to Must Make Amends.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Vampire Apocalypse, but similar principle.
    • Not immediately obvious, but as the blood supply dwindles and the effects of deprivation grow ever more widespread and pronounced, the vampire civilization gradually degenerates into something very much like this as the subsider population begins to grow and blood riots break out at the coffee stands. Fortunately, the cure is as contagious as the original vampirism was.
    • Vampirism is spread one feed at a time (assuming the victim lives), from feeder to victim. Humanity is spread in bursts to everyone who feeds from the ex-vampire, which considering the feeding frenzies we see, seems to indicate that it will have a much faster chain reaction.
    • These feeding frenzies do demonstrate one drawback, however: the one bitten is unlikely to survive. Ex-vampires will probably do better for themselves to try luring hungry vampires to them one at a time. The extraction technology Charles Bromley's corporation was using might also be effective for gathering and distributing the cure without endangering the donors.


Video Example(s):


"More blood in my coffee."

With humanity nearing extinction, vampires gradually starve and degenerate into feral Subsiders. Even those who still retain humanity become dangerously unstable, resulting in riots where even the police can't resist their urges.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

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Main / HorrorHunger

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