Director Brad Anderson Discusses the Mystery of Vanishing on 7th Street
02.16.11 by Ryan
Director Brad Anderson has has been working on TV shows like Fringe and Boardwalk Empire since his last thriller, 2008's Transsiberian, entered theaters. Anderson's latest, Vanishing on 7th Street, is the director's return to straight horror since 2001's Session 9 and follows several survivors (Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and John Leguizamo) in a post-apocalyptic world where something in the darkness is out to destroy humanity. In a recent interview with Bloody-Disgusting, Anderson described what appealed to him about Anthony Jaswinski's script.
I think I'm drawn to those sort of dark extremes, stories where characters are confronted with some impossibility and they're trying to crack the mystery of it, trying to solve it, and sometimes they themselves are the solution, or sometimes they themselves are the problem, you know? Maybe they are the monster, say in the case of Session 9. In this case it's a more straightforward external threat. But each of the characters has to confront it in their own way.
Anderson explained that Vanishing isn't the most straightforward movie, with plenty of mystery left over as the credits roll.
I like the fact that this movie keeps the mystery alive all the way through the end and kind of lets the audience debate among themselves what might be possible explanations. Of course we put little clues in there as to possible explanations, I suppose, but we never really settle on one or the other. So the movie becomes more of a point of debate…
The movie and the story is really about characters who are confronted with this huge mystery and they're sort of grasping at straws looking for some kind of explanation and ultimately realize that maybe it's beyond our understanding, that there isn't an explanation. Like death itself. The movie's really a meditation on characters pondering their own existence in a way. So it's appropriate in my mind that the story not have any clean…explanation.
Anderson is so committed to the lack of explanation that not even he is sure what lurks in the shadows of Vanishing.
I don't really think there is any real clear-cut explanation. It might be a combination of different explanations, you know? Maybe part of it is the Rapture combined with the [Large] Hadron Collider having gone bad or something and let loose some kind of fourth dimension or something. I don't know, I kind of like to think that there is no real explanation. That's to me the more terrifying fact. If there isn't any real simple explanation, it makes it that much more unsettling. Who knows why this is happening?
Read the rest of the interview here.