Daybreakers, compared to most high-budget films, steers away from a giant backstory with a handful of curses and lore. It is a straight-forward tale told against a large backdrop, a future where 95% of the population is comprised of vampires, who are now starving due to a lack of blood supply.
The main character, Edward Dalton, is played by Ethan Hawke, a vampire who has a soft spot for humans. He is attempting to invent a blood substitute at the request of the businessman, Charles Bromley, who runs the mob-like pharmaceutical company, played by Sam Neill. But what Dalton desires to do is find a cure for vampirism, so that they can become human again. Along comes Elvis, a character who used to be a vampire, played by Willem Dafoe, and an outlaw group of humans who may just have the answer to partake in Dalton's quest for a cure.
Suffice to say, Hawke and Dafoe make a breakthrough, and the film is a race against the clock in which the groups of vampires are desperately trying to get Dalton back on their side before the blood runs out permanently. The growing panic amongst the vampires is largely depicted in small vignettes that are otherwise not connected to the main storyline. These scenes throughout the movie are a nice contrast to Hawke's scenes, which are largely built on suspense and character.
On that note, it is always interesting to witness dramatic actors make an appearance in horror entertainment, and to get at least three of them in one movie is worth the price of admission alone.
Since most great vampire films of late are based on comics, books and games, that makes Daybreakers the best original vampire film in ages.