This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
jungmoney52’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Totally charming. Excellent performances from young actors. The dialogue is bright and witty, but the editing, cinematography, and score push the whole thing into being pretty exceptional. The two leads have excellent chemistry and a fun dynamic. The movie is a clear send up/homage to the twilight zone, and accomplishes feeling like a twilight zone episode with elements of fantastic modern editing and storytelling. The ending is abrupt, but not in a bad way.
I will say, the element that I doubt anyone else will agree with me on is that this movie is achingly romantic. There’s a kind of gentle pining to the whole thing that made me long to push the two glasses wearing, audio enthusiast leads into each other’s arms.
The extended final sequence, the reveal of the retro UFO inspired space ship, the sweeping score, and Everett putting an arm around Fey was a beautiful, breathtaking homage to alien abduction sequences.
The Vast of Night is smart in dedicating its first 15 minutes solely to establishing the relationship between the leads, allowing all its sequences to linger and take up time.
The movies use of 50s technology (and using the technology to explain why the characters would be isolated on this night) allow for the characters to consistently return to central locations, and make the movie feel both intimate and intense.
This is a pretty stunning and risky debut for Patterson, eschewing pretty much all contemporary film making expectations. The movie ends at what feels like the end of the second act, and leaves the audience feeling unsettled. The movie does not lack explanation or information (if it was shot less beautifully it could work as an audio drama) yet it refuses to give you answers to the big questions.
I would love to see this be the first entry into a Twilight zone-esque horror anthology series, but it totally works on its own. Definitely would recommend.