Thank God they didn’t leave a cliffhanger. They favorably stuck to the premise and delivered the ending of this film wholeheartedly.
The Vast Of Night (2020) is directed by Andrew Patterson and distributed by Amazon Prime Studios.
It stars Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz as the main duo cast, along with Gail Cronauer and Bruce Davis as supporting cast members.
Set in the 1950’s, the film follows Fay Crocker and Everett, 2 teenagers that happen to experience something strange on one decisive, critical night in New Mexico.
They eventually come upon a peculiar, enigmatic frequency that arrives in their small town.
This sound could potentially prove to alter their lives and future forever as they know it.
The setting is introduced with a TV screen being shown to the viewer, and a narrator giving a twilight zone-esque vibe as the camera zooms into view inside the television.
I found that intro style an interesting way to develop the beginning.
People who have watched shows like The Twilight Zone, and others like it, most likely caught that familiar tone instantly, I imagine.
It can be argued that the direction of this Sci-Fi thriller could’ve been handled better.
Personally, I thought it was developed and followed through decently.
No doubt there were moments that felt like the whole plot was dragging behind.
But for the most part, considering the production team had a small starting budget to begin with, they created an overall smooth pace in regards to forming a suspenseful tone and atmosphere.
Admittedly, I felt bored out of my mind during the first 20 to 30 minutes that the characters interacted in.
I assure you however, if you stick until the end, it will definitely be worth the wait.
One aspect of the direction I was incredibly stunned with was the way the camera would track the layout of the land at a smooth, persistent speed, without jump-cutting.
From what I know, they actually strapped an 18-year-old to a Go-Kart and had that person drive around capturing everything.
That kid must’ve definitely had a blast, whoever he/she is.
In particular with the writing of the script, it definitely had a mysteriously ominous sub tone to it.
Most notably when the main characters were speaking to Bruce Davis’ character Billy, when their call was interrupted.
The writers, in my assessment, did very well with keeping the conversations on point to the main story, never detracting.
Some moments however do get filled with too much dialogue, and make the exposition tedious at times.
Mostly though, I was kept intrigued with the sinister, dark sub communications that were being exchanged.
The 1950’s America that was portrayed here looked pleasantly immaculate.
The scenery particularly put me in a trance, in a strange kind of manner.
The visual artists, frankly, did a great job with showcasing the kind of fashion clothing the people wore in that era, as well as the tones the characters spoke to each other in.
Not some suburban, ghetto, urban-like talk, but more cordial and friendly-mannered with respectful undertones.
Eerie Score/Soundtrack & Performances
Holy shit that music was eerily terrifying.
The moments where the kids were running through the dark woods by the ending, uncanny noises in the background whispering stealthily, were chilling to my bone.
At first, I will say that the noise I was introduced to over the telephone switchboard was kind of funny.
It sounded almost like the huffing-and-puffing of a car engine motor.
Nevertheless, the more the score was ramped up, the more I felt the hairs on my arm stand up on their end.
Erick Alexander and Jared Bulmer, the ones in charge of the music, created a seriously memorable sound to evoke paranoia and anxiety-driven suspense.
The two main cast members working as a duo, McCormick and Horowitz, gave a phenomenal effort.
I could genuinely feel the immediate worry and tension with both of them as they rushed, literally, to discover where the cause of the peculiar air-wave frequency was coming from.
This screenplay was relatively sufficient as a standalone Sci-Fi mystery thriller.
The Twilight Zone vibe it utilized throughout the plot served to pay respectable tribute to those kinds of shows back in the day.
It wasn’t perfect as the beginning act could’ve been changed to be more entertaining.
I almost made the decision to stop watching then and there, but thankfully I didn’t.
The ending was satisfyingly resolved with no complicated questions and plot holes arising from deficiencies.
The writing was also good, although it could have been tweaked at certain points of the story to provide more room for extra plot growth, and have an increasing effect on the runtime.
The entire film is about an hour and a half, and that’s usually the sweet spot for movies like these.
But in this case, I just feel like more could’ve been added in to establish and magnify thrilling uneasiness.
Overall though, I had a fun time viewing The Vast Of Night.
And would deem it a good choice to keep me on edge after I’m done with a long binge from Stranger Things.
FP Score – Noteworthy