Last week I had a job interview down in the city and I had some time to kill before I could catch my train. I thought, why not go to the movies and see something entertaining to pass the time. I decided on Daybreakers, the Ethan Hawke/Sam Neil/Willem Dafoe dystopian-future vampire movie. It has a future where vampires have taken over the world and a human-sympathizing vampire scientist is working to create a synthetic sustitution, yada, yada, yada. It’s story is pretty silly when you get down to it because the human population is dwindling and no one knows what to do. Like, if you hunt down and kill all the humans, then you don’t have anything to eat. You don’t need a specialist to tell you what happens when the predators outnumber the prey. But whatever. That’s not what I feel like talking about (today, at least).
You see, the movie starts with Ethan Hawke’s vampire character driving his car. We see a shot of the driver’s seat from the rear-view mirror and see a floating suit and shirt in the reflection. You get it? He’s a vampire so he’s got no reflection, right? Well, this was an appreciated early tell not to take this movie seriously at all. I know, I know. It’s common legend that vampires don’t have reflections in mirrors but just think about that for a second. We are not talking about hocus-pocus Bram Stoker’s Dracula style magic vampires. We’re talking about a vampirism that attempts to mire itself into some kind of recognizable reality. Yet, when a corpse comes back wanting to drink blood, it somehow gets the ability to break fundamental laws of physics. Like, we can see the vampires so they reflect light, obviously. Their images can bounce off eyeball retinas so they are clearly reflecting off something. They show up on TV and video in this fucked up universe, so lenses and other types of light manipulation can capture them. But I try to see them with a pocket mirror, a piece of polished chrome, or a bucket of war…no dice. It’s a spooky superstitious idea but it has no place in any kind of serious vampire fiction. Just kidding. There is nothing serious about vampire fiction but you get what I mean, right?
I have more to say about more silly vampire cliches that Daybreakers bungles, but I’ll save it for tomorrow.