Centering itself on a world where vampires have become the new black, humans are rounded up like cattle to feed their yellow eyed overloads; as a result, blood supplies are running low and it is up to Edward (Ethan Hawke harnessing his full powers of brooding and sullenness) to develop a blood substitute. Meeting a group of renegade humans (populated by the former casts of Home & Away and The Secret Lives of Us), Edward discovers that their leader Elvis (Willem Defoe) holds the key to a potential cure and return to humanity.
Sam Neill hovers ominously overhead as Edward’s malevolent benefactor, cementing it’s post-apocalyptic credentials (and proving that along with William H Macy, he’ll do anything for a paycheck).
The plot for all its intentions, remains little more than an irritation, getting in the way of the sudden jolts the directors produce with wanton glee and enthusiasm. There is no character development, with each character essentially ending the movie with the same level of depth with which they entered it. Characters are introduced, only to serve a purpose and meet their eventual end, whether it be violent or simple redundancy.
A significant amount of time is given over to establishing imagery and analogies to real life situations such as food shortages, corporate greed and simple ethical egoism but are handled with such force that it’s like trying to force a round peg into a square hole; using C4 explosives.
Where the movie truly shines is in its aesthetics, being both beautifully captured and developed. In spite of its faults, it somehow manages to still evoke a sense of foreboding and end of days physicality that is rarely seen elsewhere. Perhaps best watched without sound, the feel and visuals outlive the actual message of the script and make it a quite enjoyable piece to watch.