Review: The Vast Of Night

 Something's in the sky.

In a small town in New Mexico in 1958, everyone has packed into the high school to watch a basketball game. Mostly everyone, young nerdy radio DJ, Everett (Jake Horowitz) is out walking with his friend and town switchboard operator Fay (Sierra McCormick) before they separate to do their jobs. While Fay is listening to Everett's show, she catches a strange frequency through the radio and phones Everett. When he broadcasts it on his show, he receives a strange call with an even stranger story and it sends these two on a mysterious mission.

We jump right into Everett and Fay's dynamic. The opening scene, showing the two teens leaving the school, testing out Fay's new tape recorder, then heading to their jobs is very dialogue heavy and thankfully these two have excellent banter. I was surprised to find out this movie wasn't originally a radio play to be honest. This film is very much "tell" over "show." The majority of the information that drives the plot comes from two separate stories that characters are telling, plus these two working it out back and forth. I think this works well, but it also plays into the films biggest problem.

This is director Andrew Patterson's first feature and I know I want to see more from him. Story wise, this is great. The production design is excellent, he pays a lot of homage to The Twilight Zone, which is fitting, but because he has these long stretches of dialogue, it almost feels like he didn't know quite how to shoot them. So many scenes are just dark and unfocused and sometimes the camera cuts to a completely black screen instead of just focusing on the actor listening to what is being told. It feels like a very insecure move for a film that gets everything else about the setting right. Why not let the camera linger on your actors?

Those choices aside, I thought this was a solid little sci fi story. The film is only 90 minutes and breezes right by. It's available to stream on Amazon Prime. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I just got nervous again." - Fay (Sierra McCormick)


  1. Sounds interesting, but I'll be honest. Saying it's mostly telling and not showing might keep me away for awhile.

    1. To be fair, I don't think this film had the budget to show, but the tell is good enough to make up for it when the director isn't randomly cutting to black.

  2. I heard a lot of good things about this film as I'm eager to check it out. Especially to see Creepy Connie do more roles like this as I hear she's taking on some meaty parts.

  3. I LOVE this movie. I actually had the opportunity to see it last year and it ended up making my Top 10. The old school nostalgia and Twilight Zone vibes (which you noticed too)...I ate that stuff up. And I thought Sierra was terrific.

    1. I remember! Sierra was great and this was a really promising debut. I just hope the director loses those "dead space" issues.


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