Wednesday, October 12, 2011

31 Days of Horror: Vanishing on 7th St

2010, Brad Anderson (The Machinist and a bunch of Fringe episodes) -- download

You are on your way to work, in the wee hours of the morning when it is still dark, when suddenly the power goes out. Lights flicker and systems shut down and when it all comes back on, you are alone. All around you where there should be commuters there are sacks of clothing. I mean, everywhere.  Cars have crashed, planes have fallen from the sky but the most amazing thing is the deathly silence. Amazing how quiet it can get when you remove all those people.

But in the returning dark, just out of the edge of your lights, are shadows.  The shadows creep and reach and moan and whine.  They are reaching out to you, trying to grab hold. You don't know what they can do or what they want but you know it's not good.  But as long as you have a light on, you are safe.  Somewhat.

That is the world we are introduced to almost immediately after the title sequence rolls. John Leguizamo, Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton and a few kids are the only people there when the lights come back on. The trouble is that the lights are flickering and the daylight hours are reducing, dramatically.  The shadows are everywhere and they are getting bolder and louder.  Our protagonists gather in a bar downtown where a resourceful survivalist had set up a generator and tons of gas.  If only gas was what was needed to keep the physics of the world working as they should. 

This is paranoid post-apocalypse horror, where you have little clue of what is going on and no clue on how to survive it.  Seriously, if daylight is diminishing and even glow sticks are losing their ability to light up, what chance of survival is there?  Things are damn grim.

I know what you are thinking; this is a Rapture, right?  If it is a Rapture then it doesn't seem to be about saving the faithful at all.  The people "left behind" are not all that bad, just average people with crappy lives. And if they are left behind while the faithful went Up There then why are they now being taken?  If this is a Rapture movie then there is no resolution about it.  We don't know the actual rules of the event and in the end, we are only left with two kids alive.  Oh no, did I just think they are the new Adam & Eve for this dark world?  Please, no, not that. That will reduce a stylish, well played out creepy movie into something where Hayden is the new Kirk Cameron.