Imagine if you will, a quiet night in small town U.S.A. , in the 1950’s, where life is going about its normal ways. For most of the town the first basketball game of the year has everyone’s attention, but not all. Everett (Jake Horowitz) is the town’s charismatic disc jockey and seems to be the go-to-guy for all things new. Fay (Sierra McCormick) is one of those people as she wants to show Everett her new voice recorder and seeks some help in using it. While Fay picks up all the basics, their time together comes to an end as they both have to be at work, Fay as the town’s operator and Everett’s show is about to begin.
For both though that is the end of their normal night, because while Fay is listening to Everett’s show, a strange noise comes through the speakers. At first she is just curious, but when she hears that same noise coming through the switchboard, combined with calls of some strange sightings in the sky. It opens a box of curiosity that is impossible to close. After sharing the noise with Everett, he decides to put it on the air and ask his listening public for answers to just what it might be. That shout out leads to a caller named Billy (Bruce Davis), who tells a story that leads to even more questions and an adventure for Everett and Fay that will change their fate forever.
The Vast of Night is a nod to some of the great TV shows of old, like Unsolved Mysteries, Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits with its approach. The film starts with a look into to a fictional show like The Twilight Zone as we watch the beginning through a 1950’s TV set. The film then switches to color, but going back every so often to remind us to what we are watching. The screenplay written by James Montague and Craig W. Sanger is quite wordy at times and Horowitz really shines while delivering the dialogue that feels like natural in the way it is delivered. You are invested in the story and as the characters race for an answer to what could be out there, you are with them as each stone is unturned. The film feels episodic and with its rather perfect run time, you can’t help but enjoy it throughout.
As a fan of The X-Files and the original Zone, The Vast of Night is a near perfect blend of nostalgia TV frights and modern cinematic storytelling, it can also feel just as much at home on someone’s YouTube channel as it does on your TV screen.
The Vast of Night is currently streaming on Amazon Prime