When a massive power outage plunges the city of Detroit into total darkness, a disparate group of individuals find themselves alone. The entire city's population has vanished into thin air, leaving behind nothing but lengthening shadows. Soon the daylight begins to disappear completely and as the survivors gather in an abandoned tavern, they realise the darkness is out to get them. But as their light fades, how long can they survive before the shadows devour them?
Vanishing on 7th Street is the newest offering from director Brad Anderson, of almost everything fame from The Machinist to Fringe to Treme, Boardwalk Empire and The Wire. With previous productions like these under his belt it’s always difficult to know what to expect from Anderson, other than something pretty damn good.
Vanishing on 7th Street is an unusual science fiction/horror/drama about the four unlikely survivors of what can only be called a world wide disappearance. The four survivors, Hayden Christensen, John Leguizamo, Thandie Newton and Jacob Latimore find themselves hold up in a bar as the world descends into darkness. On the surface the film displays a good use of suspense and mystery that really builds up into a genuinely creepy and occasionally terrifying movie.
However attempts to look deeper in the film leave you feeling somehow soiled; the movie’s premise is clearly rooted in Christian mythology, which is all well and good, but somehow the film tries to hide it and does so quite ineffectually. The allusions to the Rapture and the overt Christianity of Newton’s character neither cover up the religious inspiration nor distract from it.
Anderson would have been better off had he simply held his hands up and admitted to pinching the idea from the Bible. By not doing this the film is left a little hollow and the explanations for the encroaching darkness all just a little contrite. All in all it was an enjoyable and watchable movie, but far from one of Anderson’s best offerings.