As anyone who has seen both “Daybreakers” and “Twilight” will tell you, there’s a night-and-uhhh… other night difference between their respective treatments of the vampire mythos. You might also expect that each story’s hero vampire — high-schooler Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and scientist Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) — are vastly different. Wrong. Despite the vast differences in tone between the two movies, the two Edwards are actually remarkably similar in some fundamental ways.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the similarities, shall we? Readers beware: spoilers lie ahead for both movies. I won’t be spoiling any major twists for “Daybreakers” (there are a few), but if you want to remain entirely pure, you’d best wait until after seeing the movie to read this feature.
It’s All In The Eyes…
Let’s start with the most obvious: Cullen and Dalton both have striking golden eyes. Of course, the golden eyes in “Twilight” are the result of the Cullen family’s preference for animal blood over human blood (which we’ll get to in a minute). In the world of “Daybreakers,” a society in which vampires have become the dominant species, golden eyes are simply a fact of life. There are some great moments during the opening credits which highlight this, such as a shot in which Dalton is standing in a group of morning commuters. When the lights suddenly go out, casting everything in darkness, multiple pairs of glowing golden eyes are clearly seen shining through the murk.
There Won’t Be Blood… Human Blood, That Is
In the “Twilight” series, much is made of the Cullen family’s aversion to human blood. Put simply, they don’t drink it. In trying to stay off the radar and do right by the world around them, they don’t kill humans and they don’t drink their sweet, sweet blood-juice. In “Daybreakers,” vampires who go without blood actually run some risks. A blood-deprived “Daybreakers” vampire will slowly transform — quicker if they feast on vampire blood and quicker still if they feast on their own vampire blood — into a horrific beast, a sort of man-bat with wings, enhanced strength and an ugly new look. Dalton avoids the metamorphosis by dining on pig’s blood. Even when his little bro shows up with a bottle of fresh human — a fine vintage too, no doubt — Edward wants nothing to do with it.
The basis for much of the story in the “Twilight” series is structured around Edward Cullen’s love for a human girl, one Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). Really, it’s the driving force behind the series, their love for one another. Romance is nowhere near as overt in “Daybreakers.” It’s actually pretty non-existent until the latter half of the film. Which is fine, considering it’s a sci-fi action flick. What is important is the fact that the focus of Dalton’s romantic interests is Audrey Bennett (Claudia Karvan), a human woman. So you see, both Edwards also share a perverse love for human ladies. Humans in general really, when you factor in the whole “only drinks animal blood” thing.
All of that said, Cullen would win in a fight, no question. He can read minds and he’s got superhuman strength and reflexes. Dalton… he’s basically just a dude who needs to drink blood in order to prevent himself from turning into a slobbering, mindless man-bat. If he did go the man-bat route, he’d be a better match against Cullen. But at what cost…