THE VAST OF NIGHT is a new Amazon Prime Video sci-fi mystery. It plays out almost like a play or a podcast since dialogue is prevalent. This means it won’t be to everyone’s liking. However, for the right audience, it’s a real gem. Read our The Vast of Night review here!
The Vast of Night is a new Amazon Prime Video sci-fi mystery. It’s a low-budget production but you wouldn’t know this based on the impressive production quality. In fact, it’s made in a rather ingenious way. The limited budget has been used to create a stellar 1950s look-and-feel due to being shot in very few places.
To some audiences, this movie will be a true gem while it will be boring to others. It all depends on your expectations, your state of mind, and even your basic preferences for watching movies.
Continue reading our The Vast of Night review below.
A movie shot as a podcast
While the audio and visuals are gorgeous – which is always a sign of excellent production and talent with a low budget – the movie is more about the dialogue than the imagery.
The Vast of Night is very dialogue-heavy and it does feel like I’m “watching” a podcast at times. Or listening to an audiobook with just a few images to accompany it. This will undoubtedly mean that it’s not for everyone. And that’s fair enough because at least it is extremely on-point with the stylistic choices made.
This is something I really appreciate and commend.
I mean, if you’re going to do things differently, then commit 100% and you’ll be sure to win over some as well as loose others. Still, I am personally a bit torn about this movie. On one hand, I love its unique style. On the other, I feel like it would’ve been better off just being a podcast or a play.
At times, the screen is even a complete black and all we hear is someone speaking.
For this to work, I would have liked the limited imagery to be even stronger than it is. As it stands, the 1950s vibe is pretty damn perfect, but since this is sci-fi, I would’ve loved some crazier input as well. Then again, I also appreciate the fact that it’s so bare-bones.
See, I really am torn about this one!
A wonderful leading cast
The star of this movie is definitely Sierra McCormick in my book. She plays the young switchboard operator, Fay, who is the first to notice that something strange is going on. You may recognize Sierra McCormick from a smaller role on Pretty Little Stalker (aka The Danger of Positive) which is out on Netflix now.
Also starring in The Vast of Night is Jake Horowitz as Everett. He’s a DJ who Fay quickly gets on board to figure out the origin of a strange frequency coming across the switchboard. I was a bit irritated with him having a cigarette dangling from his lips for a long time since it made understanding the rapid dialogue a bit tricky at times. Still, it worked for the character.
Jake Horowitz has two horror movies coming up next. First, Castle Freak by Tate Steinsiek who has worked in special effects on movies such as Mike Flanagan‘s Oculus and S. Craig Zahler’s Dragged Across Concrete. Following this, Jake Horowitz will be in a movie featuring a demonic possession in a convent titled Agnes which is in post-production.
Also, The Vast of Night has many intriguing supporting characters that I won’t reveal anything about here. They all have lots of dialogue to explain their roles in this story. Still, Sierra McCormick was the one who kept the energy and pace going for me with this movie. I hope we’ll get to see her in horror soon. She has the thriller Exploited coming up (it’s in post-production).
Watch The Vast of Night on Amazon’s Prime Video
Andrew Patterson directed The Vast of Night and this is his debut as a director. I am definitely impressed with the sharp attention to detail and working with a low budget. Basically, I’m very curious to see what comes next from him. James Montague and Craig W. Sanger wrote the script. For all three of them, this movie is their first IMDb credit ever!
While I enjoyed elements of this movie, as a sci-fi fan, I would much prefer watching an episode of the awesome Tales from the Loop which is also on Amazon’s Prime Video. Do check out that series. It’s been grossly over-looked and it’s absolutely brilliant as a sci-fi anthology. Each episode offers something new and amazing.
Recommended reading – and watching: Our review of the Tales from the Loop anthology series on Prime Video >
Also, if you enjoy character-based sci-fi, then the German Netflix series Dark is definitely worth watching. Dark has its third (and final since it was planned as a trilogy) season coming out on Netflix this Summer. Read our review of Dark season 1 and season 2 and do check it out. And, for your own sake, don’t watch a dubbed version.
If the actual The Vast of Night movie had been more like the trailer, I think I would have enjoyed it more. Essentially, the trailer made me expect something different and that probably messed with my mindset before watching this. Watch it without any expectations and just enjoy the story. I think you’ll appreciate the overall idea of this movie more!
The Vast of Night was playing in select drive-in theaters across the country May 15-16 prior to it’s Amazon Prime Video release on May 29, 2020.
Director: Andrew Patterson
Writers: James Montague, Craig W. Sanger
Stars: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Gail Cronauer, Bruce Davis, Cheyenne Barton
In the twilight of the 1950s, on one fateful night in New Mexico, a young, winsome switchboard operator Fay (Sierra McCormick) and charismatic radio DJ Everett (Jake Horowitz) discover a strange audio frequency that could change their small town and the future forever. Dropped phone calls, AM radio signals, secret reels of tape forgotten in a library, switchboards, crossed patchlines and an anonymous phone call lead Fay and Everett on a scavenger hunt toward the unknown.