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The Vast of Night Movie Review - Unique and Suspenseful!

There is something in the sky that doesn’t belong there.

Reviewed by on May 27, 2020
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld watched The Vast of Night, a film festival winner coming to Amazon Prime. Does this tale of aliens in the night sky seem real? Check out our review.

In The Vast of Night, it’s the late 1950’s, rock ‘n roll and basketball rule in isolated, small town Cayuga, New Mexico. Phone switchboard operator (you used to have to use one to make a call) Fay, 16 (Sierra McCormick) and hot local D.J. Everett (Jake Horowitz) hear a very strange radio signal that cuts off calls, blinks out lights and interrupts the signal from Everett’s radio station. Their frantic investigation leads to old military secrets and the knowledge that alien ships are in the night skies. Will abduction be next?

The Vast of Night Trailer



A Quiet Night

On an old T.V. set we see a black and white program called “Paradox Theater”. A Rod Serling-like voice introduces an eerie episode called “The Vast of Night”. Some older teens arrive at a basketball game with equipment to broadcast and record the game. Everett, slightly older, is their mentor, helping them set up. The entire town will be there.

Everett and friend record the basketball gameEverett and friend record the basketball gameCourtesy of Amazon

Fay, a science whiz, has a new tape recorder and is excited to get Everett’s help in using it. Leaving the gym and walking the empty town, they record their voices and he helps her ask and record questions like a real on air reporter. They talk about future technology, phones with screens that you can carry with you and self-driving cars.

Everett and Fay use her new tape recorder for interviewsEverett and Fay use her new tape recorder for interviewsCourtesy of Amazon

The Weird Signal

Fay arrives for her night shift as the town’s switchboard operator, answering calls and connecting locals to other locals. Everett goes on to his shift at local radio station WOTW where he D.J.’s. Fay starts to hear a very strange series of sounds that cut off callers and jam the board. At the same time, lights flicker and the sound also comes over the radio waves interrupting Everett’s program. A frightened woman calls about seeing strange lights in the sky. Fay connects her with the police. More people are cut off. She calls Everett while he is on the air (a no no) and tells him about the sound. She connects him to it. He hasn’t heard it before.

At the switchboard, Fay first hears the weird soundsAt the switchboard, Fay first hears the weird soundsCourtesy of Amazon

Does Someone Know?

Everett is excited to broadcast the sound asking if anyone has heard it before. A man named Billy phones in. He’s heard it before when he was in the military working on a secret project in the desert. It came from an object that he and other soldiers were assigned to bury! Afterwards he and other soldiers got sick. Was it radiation? The sound was traced to outer space. No one would ever listen to or believe his story. He made taped copies of the sound and sent them to other soldiers in the group to hide them. A guy in Cayuga has one! When he died, all of his tapes of interviews etc. were donated to the local library. Fay and Everett decide to find them. If aliens are nearby, they might not stay long. This might be a way of communicating with them. Fay sneaks into the library and grabs all the tapes.

Everett gets a call from BillyEverett gets a call from BillyCourtesy of Amazon

Same Sound

A search finds the right tape. It is the exact same sound! There is something in the sky tonight!  Fay has to go back to the switchboard where many locals are calling in having seen lights and fog, etc. in the night sky.

Everett and Fay listen to soldier's tapeEverett and Fay listen to soldier's tapeCourtesy of Amazon

Mabel Blanche (Gail Cronauer) calls the radio station. She knows what is in the night sky. Fay and Everett take his big recorder and rush to her home. Mabel tells Fay and Everett a very strange story. When they arrive she is speaking in an unknown language from something written on a piece of paper.

Mabel Blanche is ready to tell her weird storyMabel Blanche is ready to tell her weird storyCourtesy of Amazon

They’ve Come Before!

When Mabel was a little girl an entire empty passenger train was found outside town. All the passengers were just gone except for one girl who escaped. Those who took her in said she spoke a strange language in her sleep before she ran away. Years later, Mabel’s baby son also talked in this strange language. When he was four, she wrote it down. His dad worked in the desert on telephone lines. When her son was nine something was in the sky. He walked outside. His footprints just stopped. He was never seen again. Mabel feels that the aliens control minds, incite wars and cause chaos. They are here tonight! She gives Fay and Everett the alien words and tells them to speak them to the aliens.

Everett listens to the sound as locals look onEverett listens to the sound as locals look onCourtesy of Amazon

Will We See Them?

Fay runs home and finds her baby sister abandoned by the baby sitter. She borrows a camera from a friend who has seen something in the sky from her roof. Other young people pick up Fay and Everett in their car and join in the search but when lights almost crash the car, Fay, freaked, goes running into the woods carrying her sister. Everett follows her. There are burned trees. In an open field they see a round object, an alien ship hovering above. Will they be able to communicate? Will Fay take pictures? Will anyone believe them?

Fay, carrying baby sis, sees alien shipFay, carrying baby sis, sees alien shipCourtesy of Amazon

Wrapping Up

The Vast of Night is a tribute to all the many early Sci-Fi alien invasion/abduction films yet, even though set in the late 1950’s, it is easy to identify with and follow the lead characters. What if you lived in an isolated small town and a strange series of sounds interrupted TV, phones? What if people started seeing objects in the night skies? If you were young, a little bored and curious, you might investigate. Hey, it’s exciting. But, you would be scared too.  These feelings permeate the entire film. The young director Andrew Patterson (his first film) manages to keep the frantic pace going despite several long sections of dialogue in which spooky stories about the aliens are told. The eerie tension and suspense is gripping.  

Fay is both afraid and intrigued by the new soundFay is both afraid and intrigued by the new soundCourtesy of Amazon

Tributes to old Sci-Fi classics are fun to discover…. The “Twilight Zone” series that starts the film, the fact WOTW radio is also the initials for “War of the Worlds”, the names of streets and towns mentioned are those from classic monster/sci fi films, etc.

Fay investigatesFay investigatesCourtesy of Amazon

Doing the film on a shoestring budget, shooting on location only at night, etc. and adding some pretty decent alien ship effects equal a very “real” feel. Using local actors for secondary parts works well too. You feel you know these people. The two lead actors who have had some experience, are excellent in their roles.

Does The Vast of Night look like modern Sci-fi/alien films? Nope and that’s refreshing. We enjoyed it so award four stars.

The Vast of Night Movie Rating: 4

The Vast of Night Movie PosterCourtesy of Amazon

Check out The Vast of Night starting on Amazon Prime Friday, May 29th

Will You Be Watching the Skies?

Are you into eerie tales, alien invasion and abduction films? Have you ever seen “The Twilight Zone” 1960’s early version hosted and mostly written by Rod Serling? Are you fascinated or a bit frightened by looking into the night skies? Share your feelings!! Write a comment and/or blog something on your Kidzworld profile page!