Review: The Vast of Night (Fantastic Fest 2019)


Title: The Vast of Night
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Andrew Patterson
Starring: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Gail Cronauer
Runtime: 1 hr 29 mins

What It Is: It’s 1950 in New Mexico and on this typical night the Cayuga High School basketball team has a game. As is normally the case everyone is in attendance. All but radio personality in the making Everett (Horowitz) and his friend Fay (McCormick) a telephone operator. When the two high school friends share an eerie experience with a strange sound over the airwaves this sets in motion events that will change the landscape of the town and their lives.

What We Think: I’d like to start off by saying that this right here, this was a complete surprise for me. Playing more like a super long episode of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, this takes a well-worn premise and gives it a nice, quirky spin. As pure ’60s sci-fi as it is a fascinating exploration of that time. Some will complain about the camera movements, specifically the tracking shot above but I think that really helps add depth and distance to what can at times feel like an otherwise small town. The two leads are spectacular. Special mention to Jake Horowitz as he steals every scene he’s in with the whip-smart and lightning-fast delivery of some great dialogue.

Our Grade: B+, Oooo wee does this thing have great sci-fi in it. Sure the tale is one as old as time but it’s told so well and the whole feel of the project so fun. It will probably be super hard to find this upon its release. Nonetheless, if you get your hands on it you are sure to not be disappointed. With a penchant for nailing its ’50s aesthetic and looking real pretty doing this is a happy surprise coming from Fantastic Fest. Its young stars are a joy and this is a scifi experience worth diving into.

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