Leslie’s Review: “Why Vanishing on 7th Street Actually Works, For the Most Part”
When four people survive an instant apocalypse in the direct-to-streaming, horror/thriller Vanishing on 7th Street (2010), they must find a way to escape or succumb to the darkness. Surprisingly, this film has direction without spoiling the mystery. It wastes no time getting into the action, and if you’re looking for a good, thriller/horror without excess gore, here are five other reasons to add it to your queue. It’s currently streaming on Netflix, and Prime members can watch it for free on Amazon.
1. The opening scene takes place in a movie theater. This movie cheated! It made me like it before the plot even began. The nostalgia of an actual film projector gets me every time. Also, what a wonderful setting for a horror movie. The projection booth is a perfect place for bad things to happen. It’s dark and the sound of the film means you’ll never hear anyone sneak up behind you. When everyone disappears, scores of popcorn buckets and sodas litter seats, and puddles of human clothes litter the hallways, leaving the projectionist in creepy isolation.
2. No cliched love story. Spoilers, if you’re looking for a story where people sneak in sex while running from the monster, keep looking. This a supernatural thriller with several characters, and all of them have bigger issues to deal with than getting down, namely, trying not to die. The movie is more about how people react when their world falls apart, how they must form relationships to stay alive, and it’s nice to be reminded that these relationships do not have to be romantic to mean something. In an interesting plot twist, it’s harder to figure out who will die first when no one sneaks off to have sex. I like it.
3. Jacob Latimore. Latimore plays James, a boy holed up in the bar where his mom works. She went to find survivors in the church down the road, and the main character runs into him while James is waiting for her to return. He holds his own with the older actors and creates a strong balance between a child’s fear and the desire to survive. I feel like this kid is going places and hope to see his name in future roles.
4. The shadows. When a horror movie’s primary monsters is simply “the dark,” things could go bad quickly. I’m looking at you, Darkness (2002). Yes, I watched it, but only because Lena Olin was in it. Don’t judge me. I don’t want to spoil too much, but the filmmakers handle the evil force well. It’s manipulative, which makes it a more formidable opponent than I anticipated.
5. The visuals. The lighting and lens choices are perfect for the mood of this film. Neo-noir is a good way to describe it. Even when the sun is shining, the lighting projects a feeling of darkness.
Director: Brad Anderson