Available on Amazon Prime, The Vast of Night is a low budget sci-fi indie and the directorial debut of Andrew Patterson. It is set over the course of one night in 1950s New Mexico, where switchboard operator Fay (Sierra McCormick – VFW) and keen disc jockey Everett (Jake Horowitz) discover a bizarre noise over the airways. The more they try to figure out what it is and where it comes from, the more creepy, intriguing and mysterious things get.
It is a lovingly made film with sumptuous camera work that plays out like a cross between The Twilight Zone and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The former is evoked at the start as a narrator sets the scene whilst we slowly zoom in on a vintage television showing a sci-fi mystery show. The atmosphere is eerie and captures the claustrophobia of a small town perfectly – this draws you in and makes you want to find out more. Unfortunately this is done in a painfully slow and drawn out manner, in which there is lots of talking and not much happening. If you can fight through the thick forest of dialogue and inactivity there is a cold and creepy mystery to unravel, but by that point your attention will be waning.
Whilst is a well made film with good camera work, adept acting and a heady atmosphere, it is just too slow, dialogue heavy and boring to recommend. It shows promising signs of things to come for up and coming director Andrew Patterson though.
As it has 84% and a must see ranking on Metacritic and is 92% and certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes I am in the minority, so if you like slow and subtle indies and have prime give it a go. Be patient though.