• James Rutherford

'The Vast of Night': The Riveting Tale of Two Teens' Attempts to Identify a Mysterious Radio Signal


Movie poster for the film The Vast of Night starring Jake Horowitz and Sierra McCormick

The Vast of Night is a captivating science fiction-suspense thriller about a pair of teenagers in 1950’s New Mexico who identify a mysterious radio frequency that hints at the presence of extraterrestrial life in the skies above. Teenage disc jockey Everett Sloan (Jake Horowitz) and female switchboard operator Fay Crocker (Sierra McCormick) clue in to an unusual audio signal emanating over the airways, a sound clip that Everett broadcasts to his listening audience in the hope of identifying its source.


Recognizing the signal, a former serviceman named Billy (Bruce Davis) calls in to describe highly secretive work he once undertook in the nearby desert. His assignment involved the construction of an immense underground bunker designed to house an enormous undisclosed object—with localized radio frequencies broadcasting the same inexplicable signal. When Billy divulges that a secret recording of the modulation exists, the storyline launches off on a race-against-time as the two young protagonists desperately pursue the elusive clip in order to identify its mystifying origin.


Co-written and directed by first-time filmmaker Andrew Patterson, The Vast of Night is a wildly enjoyable thrill-ride, aided immeasurably by cinematographer M.I. Littin-Menz’s bold, stunningly evocative camerawork. Horowitz and McCormick both deliver strikingly forthright performances within production designer Adam Dietrich's impeccable re-creation of desert southwest America at the height of the Atomic Age. It’s an ingenious construct, delivered with panache and remarkable acumen—foretelling a wonderfully promising career ahead for young Patterson.

 

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