An impressive intergalactic story, “The Vast of Night” keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s a smart, stylized directorial debut from Andrew Patterson and pays tribute to “The Twilight Zone.”
In the late 1950s, a mysterious frequency descends on a small New Mexico town. DJ Everett (Jake Horowritz) and switchboard operator Fay (Sierra McCormick) come across this strange sound not realizing it may forever change their future. From dropped calls, auspicious sounds and crossed lines, Fay and Everett soon embark on a scavenger hunt trying to encounter its origin.
Andrew Patterson’s picturesque opening stupendously sets the tone and delivers a fantastic tribute to “The Twilight Zone.” Combining neat nostalgia and odes to classic cinema from the 1950s, especially early low-budget science fiction, “The Vast of Night” creates an intense investigation towards the unknown. Occasionally framed with black & white scan lines echoing an old television broadcast, the movie meticulously recreates a beautiful bygone era of uncertainty and fascination with technology. “The Vast of Night” is a sensational, slow-moving sci-fi drama about alien abduction that builds beautifully.
Patterson packs some unbelievable performances in just 90 minutes, which feels perfect for fans of “Outer Limits,” “Night Gallery,” and “The Twilight Zone.” The film is broken down in three acts and feels eerily reminiscent of the golden age of television. “The Vast of Night” persists as a terrific, thrilling adventure happening before our very eyes and is a mix of “The War of The Worlds” meets “The X-Files.” It’s an extremely eerie and carefully crafted story that doesn’t over rely on special effects. It’s an impressive independent movie capturing your imagination. The practical effects enhance the movie so much more and framing it like an old sci-fi TV show elevates the creepy atmosphere to another level.
Structured like an old teleplay from the era of live television, its simplistic setup makes you appreciate another era of filmmaking. Honestly, it’s a creative combination of the best elements from radio, television and film. Long tracking shots and stunning cinematography certainly make the overall experience more appealing. The rapid fire dialogue, especially the beginning, was wonderful, and exceptionally enjoyable for viewers who love constant bantering. Writers James Montague and Craig W. Sanger certainly crafted a slick script, which Andrew Patterson brought to life.
Overall, imagine “The Day The Earth Stood Still” with a low-budget version of “Close Encounters of The Third Kind” with a TV show backdrop and you get “The Vast of Night.” The dialogue delivers and develops the tension with constant teases throughout. Honestly, if you love early sci-fi and classic cinema from the 1950s this is for you. However, the pace is slow moving and the dialogue does come too rapid at times. Truthfully you might overcompensate trying to pay attention, which does pull you away at times. In the end, it was a fun film experience, especially when compared with contemporary options. “The Vast of Night” is a cool cinema throwback for science fiction fans.
3 out of 4 stars
Amazon Studios will release “The Vast of Night” on Amazon Prime Video starting May 29th, 2020
Share on Facebook