One night an electrical blackout rolls across Detroit, and when the sun comes up, the city's population has disappeared, leaving behind no trace of its existence except little piles of clothes. The culprit is the deep, dark black of night itself—and the greedy shadows within it—which passes over a person and instantly sucks him or her up. Two days later, four survivors, played by Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo, and a terrific 13-year-old newcomer named Jacob Latimore, are holed up in a bar powered by an old generator that can't last for long. When the bar lights finally flicker out, the shadows will make their move. Early on, director Brad Anderson (Next Stop Wonderland, The Machinist) and first-time screenwriter Anthony Jaswinski signal their storytelling influences by having Christensen's character step on a pair of wire-rimmed reading glasses, an homage, surely, to the final shot of "Time Enough at Last," the unforgettable Twilight Zone episode in which Burgess Meredith portrayed a bookish bank clerk who becomes the last man on Earth. Vanishing on 7th Street isn't half as thrilling as that 1959 classic, but it is creepy enough to make you hope the theater parking lot is brightly lit.
Christensen wonders where everyone went.
Opens at Varsity, Fri., March 11. Not rated. 90 minutes.