Year of Release: 2010
Genre: Horror / Thriller / Mystery
IMDB Rating: 5.1 / 10
Level of Awful: Low
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Disappointment, thy name is Vanishing on 7th Street. This movie had so much promise (interesting concept, people who can actually act, $10 000 000 budget etc.) but something about it just isn’t right. It’s main problem lies in the fact that, while very watchable, you never feel very engaged with the movie – the characters do not interact well with one another and none of them are particularly likeable. What it reminded me of a lot was Pulse, another movie that I just couldn’t quite get into – you know what’s happening and you know when something’s gonna come out and grab someone but you have absolutely no clue why any of it is happening and the movie never cares to explain any of it to you. Unlike Pulse, however, Vanishing on 7th Street doesn’t have any answer to the problem so you’re left hanging at the end. All in all it was a fair attempt but it never feels like much effort actually went into making it or trying to make the story and characters pan out properly.
Something very strange is going on in the world. Our 4 characters Luke (a TV presenter), Paul (works at a Cinema making sure the movies work), Rosemary (a physical therapist) and James (son of a bartender) were all going about their daily lives when a blackout hit the city. The strange part is that, when the power came back on, everyone else was gone. All that was left of them was whatever they were wearing, bunched up on the floor (a little bit like the aeroplane in the mini-series adaptation of Steven King’s The Langoliers). The problem is that, while the people are gone, their spirits aren’t. Everywhere across the city their shadows / souls stalk around any place that’s dark, hunting down those few people who were not taken in the initial blackout. Thriving in darkness and forced back by any light source, the few remaining people need to survive night time with the help of any available light source they can find. Unfortunately for them the sun is taking longer to rise and setting much quicker, giving the shadows more and more time to hunt them down.
As the night takes longer and longer to pass Luke manages to find his way to a little bar on 7th Street where James has managed to keep the lights on with the help of a little backup generator. A delusional Rosemary makes her way there a little later, desperately trying to find her lost 9-month-old son. Paul is dragged there after he is found screaming in a bus shelter where the lights have managed to stay on thanks to them being solar powered. Now when all of these people rocked up at the pub I was just waiting for the twist later on that would explain the shadows and why these people (a) were not taken and, (b) brought together. Sadly, this was not to be. What the movie does instead is try to play on the Roanoke Colony, an English colony established in 1585 on Roanoke Island just off North Carolina. The entire colony disappeared, leaving only the word ‘croatoan’ scratched onto a fence post. The movie makes it all sound a lot more ominous that it may have been, but it fits into the whole disappearance storyline so they just took it and ran with it.
With the generator in the bar slowing dying our hero Luke decides that they have to get out of town. While the shadows somehow manage to drain electricity from most things they come into contact with Luke has managed to find one car that still has a charge in its battery. Since things are never really that simple getting out of town will require going to fetch the car and dragging it back to the pub to hook it up to the generator to charge the battery enough to make it go. This will prove to be tricky since all of the flashlights the group has die within a matter of minutes as the shadows drain the batteries in an attempt to get closer to their prey (why the shadows hunt people in the first place isn’t something that’s really explained either). To add to their woes the shadows are tricky, able to play tricks and alter their whispered voices in an attempt to fool the survivors into thinking that their lost loved ones are close by, and some members of this little group are dumb and easily fooled.
In closing if you’ve never watched Pulse, The Langoliers, Blindness, I Am Legend or The Walking Dead and feel like a watching them all quickly, rent Vanishing on 7th Street and you’ll get the main points to all of those movies, just without the cohesiveness or enjoyment.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Never trust a delusional, grief stricken black woman with a gun.
- Never trust a traumatised 12-year-old boy looking for his mother with a shotgun.
- Most pubs come ready equipped with a fallout shelter in the event of a nuclear war.
- The earth’s rotation can be sped up or slowed down depending on the whim of the evil forces ruling over it.
- Shadows have issues when it comes to their own existence and sense of self-worth.
- As a result, shadows are incredibly whiny.
- Milla Jovovich crashing into a church on a motorbike is stylish. Hayden Christensen crashing into a church in an old pickup truck isn’t.
VANISHING ON 7TH STREET TRAILER