With the recent hubbub over the epic Rapture fail by businessman turned mathematician-evangelist Harold Camping, a movie like Vanishing on 7th Street is very refreshing. No, it’s not much better than the latest cult creating hysteric at evoking logic and reasoning. No, it’s post-Apocalyptic vision of a Detroit bereft of people and plagued by a body-snatching “darkness” can’t compare to the Four Horsemen, the End Days, and the notion of people rising to Heaven and/or remaining on a literal Hell on Earth. And no, it can’t quite match the arch overacting of Camping and his crew, stars Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and John Leguizamo unable to give performances of nuance, consideration, and…oddly enough, considering the comparison, believability.
Indeed, the refreshment comes with seeing something actually stupider and more stunted than said “Jesus is Coming” con artists.
Detroit TV reporter Luke Ryder (Christensen) wakes up one silent metropolitan morning to no alarm, no power…and no people. Up and down the street outside his building, he sees clothes and the fragments of a former civilization, but no human bodies. Slowly, we discover that the darkness has a kind of supernatural power all its own. It absorbs individuals. Shadows speak and take on a surreal—and deadly—life absent their owners.