Owen Gleiberman
February 16, 2011 AT 05:00 AM EST

Vanishing on 7th Street

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
90 minutes
Wide Release Date
02/18/11
performer
Hayden Christensen, John Leguizamo, Thandie Newton
director
Brad Anderson
distributor
Magnet
author
Anthony Jaswinski
genre
Horror, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a D

Vanishing on 7th Street is a throwback of a horror movie that sets out to re-create the spooky, bombed-out, trapped-in-a-bunker atmosphere of such ’60s and ’70s B-movie landmarks as the Living Dead films and Assault on Precinct 13. But the director, Brad Anderson (The Machinist), apes those films without a hint of their gutter shrewdness. In essence, he’s made a zombie movie without the zombies. Early on, John Leguizamo, as a shopping-mall movie-theater projectionist, wanders out of his booth to discover that seemingly all of humanity (except for him) has been literally sucked away, leaving nothing but piles of clothes on the ground. All the electricity has been neutralized as well.

He runs into three fellow survivors (played by Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and the 14-year-old pop star Jacob Latimore), and the four hole up inside a bar, where an emergency generator powers a jukebox that wavers between speeding up and slowing down as it keeps on playing the Marvelettes’ ”Darling Forever.? That’s a good, queasy effect, and so are the ghostly shadows that crawl like smoke over the surfaces of things. But that’s about all the tricks that Anderson has. Mostly, we’re left staring blankly at a quartet of victimized ciphers. D

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