Watch the Intriguing Trailers for the Retro Sci-Fi Film The Vast of Night

An image from the period sci-fi film The Vast of Night.
An image from the period sci-fi film The Vast of Night.
Photo: Slamdance
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Today, if I told you that someone in 1950s New Mexico saw mysterious lights in the sky, we’d have the same thought: aliens. The infamous 1947 Roswell incident and its cultural saturation in the decades since has made sure of that. But, if you were living it, would you know? What would you believe? That mystery and paranoia is at the heart of a buzzy new indie film called The Vast of Night.


Directed by Andrew Patterson, the film takes place over the course of one night in 1950s New Mexico. Most of the town is at a local basketball game when the local radio station begins to get reports of lights in the sky. Then its signal starts to broadcast weird sounds. What’s going on?

The film premiered at Slamdance, the smaller film festival currently happening in Park City, UT, and received some solid reviews. Intrigued, we did some digging, and found several trailers for the film. Check them out.

Bloody Disgusting even posted a clip.

At this point, we know as much about this movie as you do. But after reading the reviews and watching the clips, we can say that it looks gorgeous and has more than piqued our interest. We are looking forward to seeing it, whenever that becomes possible.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo. Formerly of Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and Slashfilm. AP Award-Winning Film Critic and CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


“The infamous 1947 Roswell incident and its cultural saturation in the decades since...”

Rather, in the decades since about 1978-80, when a long-forgotten headline about a weather balloon was dredged up by a UFO researcher who spun it into a previously nonexistent conspiracy theory. People today assume that Roswell was big news in 1947 and has been a major part of UFO mythology ever since, but I grew up in the ‘70s and was gullible enough as a kid to devour all the UFO and psychic lore I could get my hands on, and I never heard about Roswell at the time. If you watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a pretty comprehensive dramatization of UFO lore as it then existed, Roswell was not mentioned even once. Because the myth hadn’t been invented yet. The “cultural saturation” of the Roswell myth in the last few decades is largely a product of The X-Files.

The Roswell “incident” in 1947 occurred just 2 weeks after pilot Kenneth Arnold had reported seeing mysterious disk-shaped objects in the sky and newspapers had coined the terms “flying disc” and “flying saucer” to describe them, triggering a flurry of mass hysteria with people all over the country imagining they saw flying saucers. (After all, it was only a few years after WWII and people had spent years being conditioned to watch the skies for enemy aircraft, even in the US, so those old habits died hard.) At the time, it was just one of many such reports all over the country, lost amid the noise. It was not infamous until decades later.