User Rating: OK
Bang For The Buck
Pros:Creepy premise builds a good fright....
Cons:...but it doesn't go anywhere. Pointless.
The Bottom Line: There was a lot of promise here; it is an exercise in building creepy moods. But it completely lacks a message, and completely fails because of that.
Vanishing on 7th Street (2010) Directed by Brad Anderson
Recommend this product?
Rosemary: We can wait until morning.
Luke: Are you sure there's one coming?
Paul (John Leguizamo) is a projectionist in a theatre, using a flash light headband to get some studying done between reel changes. Suddenly, the lights go out, all except his battery powered one, and when they come up again, he hears a few distant screams. He goes to investigate, and discovers nobody is around...just people's empty clothing, fallen where they stood.
It's Luke's (Hayden Christiansen) birthday, and fortunately he wakes with the sex candles still burning around him. He staggers off to start his day, a little hung over, one suspects, and discovers the same phenomena; there are no moving vehicles; there are no people...just clothes.
The electricity is off, and that means exploring deep into buildings is a more than a little creepy. It gets a lot creepier when you realize the shadows are moving towards you. But as any seven year old knows, a flashlight keeps the monsters at bay.
Nor do the laws of physics seem to be on the survivors' side. Most cars won't turn over. Cell phones, even satellite phones are down. Sunset comes early. And batteries are now worth more than gold.
Wandering through the dark, Luke finds signs of survivors. A little girl, who runs away. A poodle. Whatever is going on, it doesn't seem to care about animals. And then Luke sees Sonny's Bar, lit up in neon in the night.
There, he encounters the second survivor; James (Jacob Latimore). He's just a kid; his mother is a bartender at the bar, and it has a backup generator. They are joined a bit later by Rosemary (Thandie Newton) a grieving mother who knows the value of glow sticks. And a bit later still, they find Paul, who has been beaten, but taken shelter in a bus stop that is still lit; solar powered, with good batteries.
Now they are four survivors in a world of darkness, with some malign force trying to get them.
Sounds like a pretty good recipe for a supernatural thriller, right? It is. But guess what; Brad Anderson fails to deliver. Now, don't get me wrong; this movie is creepy. It builds a good fright. Whatever is going on, it taps into human's deepest primal terrors. But the movie has no message.
We never learn what is causing this to happen. We never learn what ultimately happens. If there is any single message here, at all, it is that in a survival situation, don't coddle the kids; slap the living daylights out of them and make them obey. If they run off, count them as dead. Personally, I don't think that is a very good message for a film.
It has a competent cast, though I have seen better performances out of each of them. I wouldn't blame the actors; I think they did the best they could with the material provided them.
We are scared of the dark because it means we can't see. Be afraid of this movie, because it suffers from a clear lack of vision.
Movie Mood: Scary Movie
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
Worst Part of this Film: Plot