With a competent cast, a talented, and a great story, it’s surprising Vanishing on 7th Street isn’t better. However, it’s compelling, entertaining, and thought provoking (at least in passing). Perhaps the reason so many reviewers aren’t liking this movie is because it requires a bit of thinking; it asks you to fill in the blanks and use your imagination, unlike Black Swan, which was graciously received en masse and visually stunning, but insulting in the way that it spelled everything out for less capable viewers.
Vanishing on 7th Street 2010 Trailer
In this Twilight Zone-themed tale, Director Brad Anderson (Session 9, The Machinist, Transsiberian) kicks things off with a captivating opening scene that’ll keep you interested for the duration of the film. John Leguizamo is Paul, a projectionist at a movie theater, and he’s working when the lights go out as Detroit loses all power. When he emerges from the booth, he finds a different world, one that terrifies and shocks the viewer as much as Paul.
As the story unfolds we’re also introduced to Luke (Hayden Christensen – irony), Rosemary (Thandie Newton), James (Jacob Latimore), and little Briana (Taylor Groothuis). One of these kids is doin’ her own thing… Notice the abundance of Christian or Christian-derivative names. Yes, the common belief that the apostles Luke and James were at odds is carried into Vanishing on 7th Street, but that faith debate/conflict actually goes on between Luke (field reporter) and Rosemary (who’s desperately seeking her young son in this “post-apocalyptic” world, a recovering addict, and likely formerly of the same profession as Mary Magdalene because she’s a “physical therapist”).
All of our characters but Briana end up in a rundown bar on 7th Street that still has power thanks to the strained gas-powered generator in the basement. The key here is that there’s power and that means light, which keeps the darkness and shadows at bay. The story never fully develops, which is a fault by today’s standards, but it may have been an intentional device. Our characters struggle to figure out what’s going on and never find the answer, just the outcome. Their main purpose is escaping the omnipresent threat and getting out alive.
Vanishing on 7th Street may be a little anemic, but it lingers like garlic on your breath and stays with you for days to come.
- Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
- Year Released:
- 17 May 2011 (DVD and Blu-Rray)
- Brad Anderson
- Hayden Christensen, John Leguizamo, Thandie Newton, Jacob Latimore, Taylor Groothuis
- Horror, Mystery, Thriller
- Official URL:
- Vanishing on 7th Street