Andrew Patterson may be new on the scene, but there’s already a buzz around him thanks to his first feature, The Vast of Night. The Spielberg references are dropping left and right, but people are probably thinking of a time when that name was known for close encounters rather than dinos.

This alien invasion paranoia story replicates the 1950s but manages to stay modern by incorporating playful dialogue that only a 2019 audience would understand. Though there isn’t much action, the scenes are somehow riveting. Fast-paced dialogue uncovers the plot as if the viewer is sitting at a campfire listening to ghost stories.

On the technical side, Patterson makes use of the entire screen, assuring there is something happening even at the edges or in the background. There are lots of tracking shots and long takes that follow the characters. Drone cameras take the eye from pavement to crowded rooms, up to the rafters and out through windows, to return to street level. It’s well done and doesn’t come across as I bought this expensive drone, let me film my entire movie with it.

And nice going naming the town’s radio station WOTW. Science-fiction lovers will recognize the acronym. War of the Worlds is an H.G. Wells novel that inspired countless films, comic books, and particularly a radio broadcast of Orson Welles reading from the book. As many of the sequences unfold at or near WOTW, this is befitting.


The Vast of Night – October 15th, 2019, 6:45 PM – Cinema du Parc

Actress Sierra McCormick will be in attendance.


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