‘Sunrise’ Excels at Confusing the Audience, Not Entertaining Them

Ulises Duenas


Sunrise, directed by Andrew Baird, manages to capture that real B-movie feel with its mix of a befuddling plot and awkward scenes. Even the premise is worthy of B-movie glory, since it’s about a former cop turned vampire who hunts the racist goons who killed him and his wife. If only the rest of the movie was as entertaining as its setup.


The beginning of the movie revolves around Guy Pearce’s character going on a rant about how different kinds of people aren’t meant to live together. The villain is so cartoonishly hateable that he ends up carrying the film. On the flip side, you have Alex Pettyfer who plays Fallon, the vampire who eventually decides he will do something about the evil bigot who is tormenting the town. The fatal flaw with Fallon’s character is that he’s played so stoically and delivers his lines with such a lack of emotion that it’s hard to get engaged in his story. That would be fine if he were a withdrawn, cool killing machine, but he doesn’t really do much until the last act of the film.



Fallon is taken in by a family of Asian immigrants who live on a farm in the mountain town that’s run by racists. They get on Pearce’s bad side by refusing to sell their land to him, so it’s up to Fallon to keep them safe. This storyline is what makes Sunrise seem as though the writer had scripts to two very different movies and just mashed them together. A vampire out for revenge is wacky with the potential for fun action; a family of immigrants having to deal with violent bigots in an isolated area has the makings of a good thriller. This movie doesn’t really accomplish either of those things and ends up a confusing assortment of simple scenes that fail to tell a compelling story.



Considering how bland Fallon’s character is, it would have made more sense if one of the targeted family members was the vampire. Instead, Fallon acts as a ho-hum savior, which makes the messaging of the movie all the more confusing. On top of that, the action scenes are rather uneventful and the effects to show Fallon’s vampirism are minimal, so his being a vampire hardly even matters. 

Sunrise definitely had the potential to end up as a good film, but a string of odd choices holds it back. The main value this film has is watching the talented Guy Pearce play a reprehensible monster before getting what’s coming to him.


Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a senior writer and film critic at Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine


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