I wonder if my night-light would save me.
No one can explain the mystery when residents of a vibrant urban center begin disappearing one by one. But it seems to have something to do with the shadowy figures they come into contact with right before they (Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo) vanish.
Director Brad Anderson has made some pretty intense and creepy stuff which is why I was looking forward to this so much. However, it’s such a shame when you’re disappointed by something that seems like it could have worked so well.
Anderson does a good job here with his direction and uses a lot of silence to create this atmospheric mood where you don’t know what’s going on and how is this all happening and what the real mystery behind all these disappearances are. The first 40 minutes of this are strong and kept me interested, but then after that, it begins to fall down.
Nothing much really happens after these first 40 minutes because all we watch is them trying to conserve light and run away from the darkness, and that’s just about it. The scares are fairly cheap and while you watch the film, you can’t help but wonder just when this film is actually going to take off.
Another one of my problems is that the script feels nothing more than a genre exercise. There’s a lot of homages and ideas taken from the films of George A. Romero and John Carpenter, but none of it actually morphs into a full-length film. Also, far too many holes in what the darkness could and couldn’t do, where did the people disappear to, why did they disappear, why were these people left behind? These questions were ones that were always brought up but never answered and I kind of felt ripped off. I liked the vagueness f the horror within the film but the darkness had no real allegory to it, it was just the darkness and I kind left this film feeling what was the point?
Hayden Christensen is pretty crappy actor but he does OK here as Luke. I mean he didn’t make me sigh or laugh at his performance so I guess it was OK. Thandie Newton is good as the insanely sad Rosemary; John Leguizamo is always great in anything he does, and his performance as Paul is no different; and the debut role of Jacob Latimore as James is very good too. Still, when it came down to the film, these performances just felt like second-nature.
Consensus: Director Brad Anderson may be inspired with this direction, somehow the screen gets mixed up in its mumbo jumbo of questions unanswered, bad scares, and nothing really exciting happening which just makes Vanishing on 7th Street feel like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone.