The Vast of Night – Movie Review

published on July 2, 2020

the vast of night is a brand new film

that just premiered on amazon prime this

weekend it's andrew patterson's first

film and this is a micro budget movie

it's about a radio dj and a switchboard

operator in 1950s new mexico

that come across a strange signal that's

coming through their system

and they soon begin to realize that

something might be hovering

over their small town this film opens

with a slow push in on a 1950s

television and on that television is a

sort of

faux twilight zone intro with somebody

who sounds like rod serling

and it actually displays the film's

title the vast of night within this

intro and then we zoom into the tv we

become part of that tv and now we're

watching the film

and that intro tells you everything you

need to know about this movie if you

like the outer limits or the x-files or

twilight zone or any of those paranormal

shows

that explore these types of events

you're probably going to enjoy this

movie because

this film feels like a tribute to all of

them as already said this is a very low

budget movie and what andrew patterson

and his team does with the camera is

very impressive

you can see where they have to make

certain caveats for their budget

there's very long takes there's like a

nine minute take

of the switchboard operator just going

back and forth between calls trying to

decipher what a noise is

and if you can get your actor to do that

10-minute take

okay good move on you've finished that

scene let's get going the film is broken

up into various stories that they hear

from people who call into the radio or

people who they actually go and

interview them and record them

thinking this might be important and

those stories are also usually told with

very long takes you can see that they're

trying to conserve time

and where sometimes that might get

boring or you might feel like they're

conserving time and it's not really

working for the pacing in the case of

this movie

the stories are so creepy and they're

actually very well acted

that it doesn't matter you just get

engrossed in the story

and it breaks some rules in that way at

least some rules for first-time writers

you often hear about if not too much

storytelling

eliminate long blocks of text that are

on your page that stand out

i'm assuming if they showed this script

to people for notes they probably got a

lot of feedback about really long blocks

of text

of dialogue that's understandable but in

a film like this it really works because

this movie captures the sort of live

wire

immediacy of a few people in a small

town

stumbling across something monumental

and so they're going to talk about it

and they're going to share their

expertise about it but

when they aren't saving time with really

long takes

they utilize some really fun and

inventive camera work there's a shot

that tracks from the switchboard all the

way to the radio station

through the entire town and i read an

interview with the director where he

talked about how they accomplished that

shot and he said that one of the things

they did was they gave the camera to an

18 year old on a go-kart

and he just sped through the town

capturing this amazing footage

they utilize a basketball court to its

full capacity

every single extra is showcased in full

for that sequence because as much money

as you can make people think you spent

on a scene you might as well make them

think you spent it

this is really impressive filmmaking and

a lot of it works

you can see that they are desperate to

make a movie and they're doing their

best

to make a film that they can within

their means but it's actually kind of

suspenseful

this movie is basically made for me uh

my mom and i

used to watch movies like this all the

time because like a lot of great movies

that are about some sort of paranormal

event they focus on a few characters

who are encountering this for the first

time and

they're sort of in the middle of this

crazy event that they don't understand

and they're all just running to catch up

sometimes very literally running to

catch up and so

the movie feels very in the moment and

i've always loved films that take place

in a contained period of time

that's something i'd really like to do

one day as to is to make a film that

that's all just one

fucked up night you know i'm i'm

actually trying really hard to

accomplish that right now so my biggest

recommendation to you is to not watch

this film assuming you're going to get

this gigantic

alien invasion movie like independence

day where ships are coming out of the

clouds and blasting cities

this is a super small scale movie and

they utilized

every single thing at their disposal to

make the film

as for issues with the movie some of the

color grading could have been a lot

better the darker aspects of the image

in certain scenes they would look very

brown and washed out

and there would be a lot of glow from

car headlights that accomplished this

and it wasn't very visually attractive

and there were other scenes where the

darker parts of the shot looked great

so the color grading i think could have

used a little more work

um the lighting was too dim in certain

scenes actors didn't have enough eye

light

and so sometimes you couldn't really see

their emotions and reactions to things

and that's really important especially

in a long like 10 minute take

a lot of that you can tell is due to

budget but i can absolutely say that if

this filmmaker is given a little more

money

and and more of a crew next time i'm

extremely excited to see what he does

i'm going to give the vast of knight an

a minus please keep in mind

this is a grade given to a film where

i am recognizing their limitations

that's something you really

have to think about when you walk into a

movie like this this is not going to be

like other films that have millions of

dollars at their disposal

and for what they had and what they

accomplished i was

extremely impressed and i can highly

recommend this movie it was also

turned down by a surprising amount of

festivals including sundance and

a whole bunch of other festivals and i'm

very surprised granted

there's no names in this movie and for

most everyone involved with the film it

was their first

project so i can understand why some of

those bigger festivals don't care

anymore about movies like that because

they've kind of moved on to like looking

for names

which in a way is its own kind of

bullshitty thing that maybe i'll talk

about one day but

besides that please do check out this

movie on amazon prime i think it

deserves to be supported especially by

indie filmmakers and people who want to

make movies

it's very inspiring guys thank you so

much as always for watching look forward

to more reviews very soon and if you

like this

you can click right here and get stuck

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