The Vast of Night (2019)

As a script writer for hire  and UK script consultant I really enjoyed The Vast of Night (2019), an odd, old fashioned treat of a sci-fi film. Despite enjoying it a lot, it did get on my nerves from time to time (especially early on), and I’m not sure it’s for everyone.

Set in the 1950s, which is very well evoked, it’s a film about ‘an extra terrestrial sound’ initially, and the story frames this by following a local radio station worker and sound geek Everett,  played well by actor Jake Horovitz, who as Everett  looks a  lot like me when I was 17, (I had to keep blinking!)

So, this ethereal sound is affecting the radio station and other parts of the small town including the telephone exchange which is manned by young Fay Crocker, again, very well played by Sierra McCormick. These two young actors carry the film well.  But the film has a very long, wordy opening of nonstop talk, and I think some people might struggle to get past this segment (you should, it’s worth it).

The film is beautifully shot and edited, and despite the obvious low budget the film delivers, but less on UFO special effects, and more on the acting and script, the sense of awe and terror at the alien presence in the small town.

It’s odd, slightly lopsided film, different and interesting, but you might get infuriated too.   The director is worth keeping tabs on, the mood, for the most part is well controlled and there are some bold choices in here, some not entirely due to the low budget.

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire, UK Script editor  and UK script consultant for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. His UK script coverage service and script development service are highly sought after.

You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb.His directorial debut, the rubber reality horror thriller Markham will be released in 2020. You can find out more about Matthew’s work as a director here.

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