Daybreakers, the vampire horror film from Peter and Michael Spierig and starring Ethan Hawke, William DeFoe, and Sam Neil, is a disappointing modernization of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday novella A Christmas Carol. Much of the original’s political commentary has somewhat obviously and probably necessarily been replaced with more contemporary concerns: immigration, the energy crisis, the corruption of big banking, and the half-human-half-vampire bat monsters than live in the sewers. The movie, in this regard, struggles for relevance, which I can appreciate as I have really been feeling depressed lately. I don’t know… I guess it’s the winter or maybe it’s that I didn’t get a lot of Christmas presents this year. I mean, I think I only got two actual presents. And I just broke up my boyfriend a few weeks ago… and it’s not like seeing him in this movie helped. He was good in White Fang, I guess. I’m thinking of opening a deli. It doesn’t seem that hard. We used to talk about that, Ethan and I. And, interestingly enough, I think this movie would have been a little bit more dramatic if more of its scenes were set in a deli. Instead, the movie imagines a future when all humanity has been turned into vampires and their economy revolves around the diminishing supply of human blood. I’m sure this is not what Dickens had in mind! But, still, the audience is invited into an imaginative vision of the future. Blood is mixed into coffee and purchased at coffee stands in the subway. There’s something terrifyingly realistic about how quickly advertising united sex appeal and the pale skin of vampires. It’s almost as if advertising is the real vampire. But, who are we kidding… the real vampire is the movie star who thinks he can just call whenever he feels like it! And when he does, he wants an “open” relationship, whatever the fuck that means! I miss, also, the intense sexuality that is usually evident in vampire films. When I was writing Dracula, it was important to me to depict the feelings of lust that the allure of blood must offer vampire and the fear turning to submission in vampire’s victims. But, in Daybreakers, the vampires are depicted as almost boringly human. The only redeeming excitement of the movie are the occasional bodies ripped apart by mobs of vampires and the cameras relentless willingness to not look away. Fans of gore will enjoy Daybreakers to some extent; fans of Dickens will be shocked.