February 17, 2011
One night, all the lights went out in the city and later, we see that everyone had inexplicably vanished, leaving their clothes behind. Of course, there won't be a movie if there are no people who were able to avoid this fate: movie projector man Paul (John Leguizamo), physical therapist Rosemary (Thandie Newton) and TV reporter Luke (Hayden Christensen). They all meet up in a bar on 7th Street, where the neon lights and jukebox music are kept on with by a young boy James (Jacob Lattimore). As they find out what had kept them alive, they also have to figure out a way of escaping the unseen dark menace, as their batteries are quickly discharging and the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter.
"Vanishing on 7th Street" is not the horror movie that the posters would make you think. It is not really scary, but the darkness and the music create an atmosphere of dread and tension. In my short summary above, I said that everyone inexplicably vanished. And that is the problem with this movie, the vanishing remains inexplicable up to the end. I'm all for open endings where the audience fill in the blanks, but making the audience struggle to make sense of events every step of the way is a bit too much. In this movie, we do not know nor understand, nor even get a sense of why or how any of these events happened. It was like a series of "huh?" moments, that all led up to one big "HUH?" in that climactic scene in the church. Therefore even at the end, we do not see the point of what this movie is really about.