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Vanishing on 7th Street

by

Jeff Nelson

Vanishing on 7th Street is worth a rental at best.

Vanishing on 7th Street
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Director and writer Brad Anderson is the mind behind the well done Session 9. Ever since, he had a name for creating a great atmosphere and an eerie film. I was included in the number of people excited for Vanishing on 7th Street once the trailer was released. It looked interesting with the potential to be pretty good. The film got a quick limited release, was on-demand, and then released onto Blu-Ray and DVD. This film went under the radar from mainstream audiences for the most part.

When a massive power outage places Detroit into total darkness, a group of individuals find themselves alone. The entire city's population vanished, leaving behind empty clothing, abandoned cars, and shadows. Daylight begins to disappear, and as the survivors gather in a tavern, they realize the darkness is out to get them and only their diminishing light sources can keep them safe. While the plot itself isn't the most original, there's potential here. What begins as interesting soon begins to feel repetitive and irritating. Not all of the characters are likable, leading me not to care about what happens to them. There are enough stupid decisions made by the characters to have viewers irritated. The clichés are here in their complete form. Those annoyed with characters falling while running are sure to be bothered. However, there are some cool scenes with interesting concepts that simply weren't taken anywhere. The ending is disappointing. It's an open ending that doesn't answer any questions and is just absolutely ridiculous. A lot more could have been done with the screenplay, but it falls flat.

Despite the film having such a small release, a decent cast is attached to it. Hayden Christensen, John Leguizama, and Thandie Newton are the three leading actors. The acting is a mixed bag. The dialogue isn't very good to start, but reactions and interacting with other members of the cast has its ups and downs. Each actor has the look for their roles, but there's not much more than that. The best acting seen here is during the moments the characters are in fear. The actual dialogue between characters is recited rather poorly. Since the film doesn't have much depth, why would the performances be much different?

The look of the film is what highly drew audiences of the genre into the trailer. The sets of abandoned streets have an eerie vibe. The cinematography is highly effective here. The shadows are used very well from start to end. The visuals are easily the most positive element concerning the film. The shadows have a creepy feel to them. Don't expect to see the best visuals, but they work well.

Once the announcement for Vanishing on 7th Street was released, I was thrilled to check it out. The film let me down on different accounts. The opportunity of creating something fresh was wasted. The incredible atmosphere Brad Anderson created in Session 9 just isn't here. A lot could have been done with this film, but it ends up just being below average. The ending is sure to have people rolling their eyes in disgust. It's an incomplete ending that made a mediocre film worse. Vanishing on 7th Street is worth a rental at best.

My Rating = Two and One Half  Stars

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