Vanishing on 7th Street
Blu-ray + Digital
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VANISHING ON 7TH STREET taps into one of humankind's most primal anxieties: fear of the dark. An unexplained blackout plunges the city of Detroit into total darkness, and by the time the sun rises, only a few people remain surrounded by heaps of empty clothing, abandoned cars and lengthening shadows. A small handful of strangers that have survived the night (Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo and Jacob Latimore) each find their way to a rundown bar. With daylight beginning to disappear completely and whispering shadows surrounding the survivors, they soon discover that the enemy is the darkness itself.
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Sadly, while the film does have some decent scares and manages to maintain some level of tension. It never fully achieves the potential it sets itself up for. Between hokey CGI shadow effects, hackneyed usage of true historical mysteries with easy explanations that blow the film's supposed explanation out of the water, and truly stupid character decisions the film feels more like a bad Doctor Who episode (and given that show actually had an episode about killer shadows that was AMAZING makes this film look all the more worse). Add onto that, a truly stupid ending with obvious biblical undertones and a shot that rips off the iconic image of The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes riding his horse down an abandoned highway and you have the mediocre strawberry on a truly disappointing cake.
Not to mention, it's way too easy to make "Dark side of the force" jokes throughout the entire film's run time. I strongly recommend watching this movie with your friends and seeing who can come up with the best Dark Side pun.
Well, maybe not quite it. Entropy to me in this sense is the winding down of all things with energy, life, and vitality. Flames dying, plants and animals dying, batteries and electrical equipment running down to inert objects, even the Sun and the stars fading. There is that element in the film. While strangely plants and animals seem unaffected, the darkness not only snuffs out the vast majority of humanity, but drains batteries, causes the power to go out, even eventually snuffs out fire itself. I would say it is the snuffing out of civilization, but the Sun rises later and sets earlier every day, not quite flowing with that particular narrative (except maybe the shorter days help the entropy to end humanity).
Also to me entropy is an inert and inexorable force, like gravity, but not that one that wants to do anything. It is a force, not intent. Here the darkness - whatever it is - is clearly sentient. It wants the end of things, of all beings with thought, but it itself has thought. It tricks. It lies. It intimidates. It lets some people live - for a time - but in the end they too will be gone. Also in the end, it doesn't really matter, for once your light dies, you are gone, snuffing out like a candle.
Kind of hard to understand what the directors and writers quite wanted me to feel on this. At times, a good action thriller, if by action you mean the constant struggle to stay in the light. Very creepy, even scary at times, though no gore to speak of. Good sense of suspense and the use of flashbacks was effective and eerie. The lie-dreams the darkness made people see, didn't quite understand why the darkness would do that, how it would do that, and quite what some of the dreams even meant. Some things were clearly symbolic (the end somewhat heavy handed), but I didn't always know what the symbolism meant. Didn't quite go down the rabbit hole of obtuse imagery and strange abstractions as some indie films can do, as it was still a thriller, but there were things I didn't understand at all.
As you can tell, a lot of questions were left unanswered. Is that a problem? I suppose not. They were there though! It was well made and eerie. Reminded me of some post apocalyptic empty city movies though this was bleaker than any I have seen before. If that is your thing have at it!
Not a bad watch, but a little bit of a letdown.
You won't be thrilled by it. Nothing special. If curiosity is getting the best of you, watch it. Else you can skip it.
If you're looking for something spooky in the dark, I would suggest 'The Darkest Hour'. Much better than this!
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Granted my experience of watching this film was heightened because midway through an extremely tense moment (in a movie...Read more
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