The Vast of Night (2019)

At the dawn of the space-race, two radio-obsessed teens discover a strange frequency over the airwaves in what becomes the most important night of their lives and in the history of their small town.


I've seen many small SF/horror movies lately that are clear tributes to The Twilight Zone, but The Vast of Night really wears it on its sleeve, with a more overt reference right up top. Indeed, we often return to the odd free-standing cathode-tube screen over the course of the movie, and sometimes even go to a black frame, turning the film into radio. Perhaps an evocation of Orson Wells' War of the Worlds broadcast? This is, after all, a UFO story as seen through the eyes and ears of a radio disc jockey and a telephone operator in a sleepy 1950s town. A triumph of style over substance, there's a lot to admire in terms of recreating an era, letting the camera glide around town to create a clear geography, and letting the story play out as a kind of radio play. Think, if you can, of a mix between Signs and Pontypool. Unfortunately, it's not as clever or original as Pontypool, and I feel we're heading for an inescapable conclusion and not much of a twist at all. As a movie, it looks cool and takes chances. Its characters are good, especially Sierra McCormick who is quite convincing as a period teen. As a plot, it's rather generic, and the audience if forever ahead of the characters.

2 months ago


Like a creatively illustrated engaging radio play. The musical score was just beautiful and the composers definitely deserve to be in the conversation come awards season.

a month ago


There are definitely things to like (including some unnerving parts in the second half), but the sleep-inducing pace and hazy, murky photography are not among them. Disappointing.

a month ago

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