Social Commentary in Horror (addendum)

Daybreakers promo


I was reminded this afternoon of the film Daybreakers and got to thinking about the social commentary there. I know I have discussed this before so let me quickly re-cap the story.

In the near future, the whole world has succumbed to vampirism. There are very few humans remaining. But unlike most apocalyptic tales, society has carried on pretty much as normal. People go to work, they eat food, they go to the pub, they have laws and businesses and stock markets and a global economy. Life is normal except that we now need to consume blood to survive and we cannot go out in the day time.

The problem though is that human blood is in short supply and the scientists attempting to synthesise it or otherwise increase the yield are struggling. These vampire people can eat normal food but obviously blood is still their staple and melange-like it is put into everything. To preserve supplies, the government is ordering a reduction in the percentage of blood going into every day food. There is already a shortage and people are starving. These starving are being pushed out of society where they cannot be seen to maintain the illusion that there isn’t a problem (more out of sight out of mind).

The social commentary here is the inability or unwillingness of humans to consider the dangers of cause and effect and to pretend that problems do not exist. Actions have consequences and if we over-farm, over-fish, pump too much CO2 into the atmosphere, chop down too many trees, pollute our food supply or generally ignore the consequences of our actions in favour of short-term financial gain then in the long run that is going to have a serious effect on society as a whole. I don’t think there is any specific parallel to be drawn here (I did consider that it was a metaphor for human reliance on oil but I’m not convinced, I think it is more of a general point about over-consumption and squeezing out natural supplies).


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