The Vast of Night (2020)

6.6
At the dawn of the space-race, two radio-obsessed teens discover a strange frequency over the airwaves in what becomes the most important night of their lives and in the history of their small town.
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  • SierraKiloBravo

    Click here for a video version of this review: https://youtu.be/Sjqv6iKZTwc Growing up watching _The Twilight Zone_, _The X-Files_, and terrifying my childhood self by reading books about UFOs and aliens, its fair to say that I have a bit of a soft spot for a good story about what's in the skies above us. For this reason, the trailer for Amazon's _The Vast of Night_ caught my eye. Here's the official description of what this movie is all about: _At the dawn of the space-race, two radio-obsessed teens discover a strange frequency over the airwaves in what becomes the most important night of their lives and in the history of their small town._ I recommended this to a friend after watching it and this is how I summed it up: _Small town New Mexico, 1950s. While the whole town is at a basketball game, the girl running the local switchboard and the guy at the radio station start getting weird signals coming through their earphones, and reports start to come in about something in the sky..._ I loved this movie, there's something so great about its simplicity. I think its a good example of how a lot can be done with very little. This was made for under a million dollars but hits like something with a much bigger budget. The way they've made things work within the budget are accomplished by a few simple tricks. Firstly, the events covered in the movie happen over a few short hours on one night in one small town, so the scale is kept small. Additionally there are some fantastic long takes throughout the film including one magnificent one where the camera goes from the desk of the switchboard office out the door, down the street, right across town, across a field and into the stadium where the basketball game is happening. It was so smoothly executed that our eyes just got wider and wider the longer it went on. It was marvellous. Lastly there are some long periods where there is just one or two people talking. Now, usually long dialogue heavy scenes with the camera lingering on one person get very boring very quickly, but the way the lines are delivered and the contribution of the content of the dialogue to the developing story of the movie was masterfully executed. It's almost hard to believe that this is the first film made by Director Andrew Patterson. The skill on display here feels like its someone who has spent years crafting engaging and well fleshed out stories. Tie this in with the sound design, cinematography, and colour grading of this being immaculate, and we thoroughly enjoyed this. It does a brilliant job of slowly building up tension without flashy visuals or on screen pizazz. It’s done with intriguing dialogue that pulls you into the mystery. We were fully on board the whole time, and I reckon you should check it out too.

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