By Don Simpson | November 11, 2012
Director: Brad Ellis
Writer: Allen Gardner
Starring: Matthew Stiller, Rachel Miles, Allen Gardner, Rachel Kimsey, Kim Justis, Dennis Phillippi, Michael Gravois, Drew Smith, Clare Grant
Johnny (Matthew Stiller) is a much too timid and shy to try picking up Elizabeth (Rachel Miles) at the local bar, yet Elizabeth is not about to let his flirting glances get away quite that easily. Before we know it, Johnny and Elizabeth are hooking up. As if their stereotypical gender roles are reversed, Johnny is quick to fall in love while Elizabeth is not known for committing to long-term relationships. Eventually, Elizabeth gets freaked out and Johnny gets angry, so they break up. The end. Wait, I thought this was a vampire flick? Oh, wait… It’s not over?
When Johnny is involved in a life-threatening car accident, Elizabeth is devastated. She really does love this guy! Unbeknownst to Elizabeth, her absentee father (Allen Gardner) is a vampire who is secretly looking out for her best interests. Knowing Elizabeth would be utterly devastated if Johnny died, her father clandestinely turns Johnny into a vampire. (I guess he did not really think that plan through very well, did he?) The trick is that Johnny is a vampire with a guilty conscience who needs to learn how to be close to Elizabeth without sucking her blood. In fact, Johnny wants to do without killing any humans — and he seems equally distraught when instructed to kill a dog for nourishment. Is there such a thing as vegan vampires? If so, maybe Johnny can join them.
So Daylight Fades sounds a lot like a hokey Twilight rip-off, right? Well, I would argue that Daylight Fades is significantly more natural — well, as natural as a vampire love story can be. It was probably a budgetary decision, but director Brad Ellis and writer Allen Gardner are not interested in special effects and gore. In fact, Daylight Fades is a fairly simple — if not mundane — love story; Johnny just happens to be a vampire, which makes Daylight Fades a forbidden love story. We know that Johnny and Elizabeth can never last as a couple, because Johnny is undead and will therefore never grow old. Turning Elizabeth into a vampire would be a bad thing, right? Well, something has got to give — the question is what? And I give Ellis and Gardner a lot of credit for their answer to that question, which successfully differentiates Daylight Fades from the oh-so-predictable Twilight saga. In fact, as far as vampire love stories go, Daylight Fades is one of the better ones that I have seen. I find Matthew Stiller and Rachel Miles to be quite convincing in their roles, and they are definitely sexy enough to make Daylight Fades appealing to audiences who care about such things.