Clothes left in a heap on the ground as if the bodies that wore them evaporated into thin air. Abandoned cars in the middle of traffic. Haunting sounds and figures dissipating in the wind. In the city of Detroit four lost souls discover that they're the last ones standing after a mysterious wipeout of all beings in the upcoming thriller Vanishing on 7th Street. The survivors--a mother (Thandie Newton) looking for her lost son, a teenage boy looking for his mother, a man (Hayden Christensen) looking to reunite with his wife, and a movie theater worker (John Leguizamo) who's been to hell and back--seek refuge in a deserted tavern to hide away from the menacing figures that lurk in the moonlight. They each come up with various theses about what is happening, as they fight to stay alive and away from the dangerous shadows outside.
It's not an interesting concept, not even if you're trying to appeal to the Drag Me to Hell type. The trouble with this film is that it was trying to be good, trying to be symbolic and, dare I say, provocative. It wasn't scary at all. The attempts to create more indicative characters crumbled at the seems as they were not fully developed and therefore not compelling. We never really know what happened to this town as the plot--and point--remain uncleverly ambiguous even as the closing credits began to roll. Newton's character Rosemary--perhaps the most interesting character--struggles to find a significance in the plot that never really comes together. Christensen's Luke--the tough guy with rugged charm--proves the most resourceful during the crisis but still as clueless as the audience is.
With its Casper-like undertones and shoddy premise, the movie fails to deliver what a more thorough script might have yielded. The performances were...as good as the script was. Even at Newton's most dramatic, we're left wondering whether she forgot she was in this movie. Overall, Vanishing on 7th Street was just randomly ridiculous and utterly asinine.
Vanishing on 7th Street is scheduled to hit theaters in limited release on February 18, 2011. Check out the trailer below: