The Vast of Night Ending, Explained

The Vast of Night‘ is a lo-fi science fiction movie that packs tons of style. It is filmed in the style of a ‘Paradox Theatre’ episode, an anthology television series like ‘The Twilight Zone.’ The film stars Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz. Being a lo-fi, ‘The Vast of Night’ does not rely on high-concept science-fiction moments like an intergalactic battle, for example. Instead, the movie maintains its razor-sharp tension through a craftily-filmed mystery. Set in the 1950s, the movie nails its period extremely well, and with the help of impressive long shots, manages to capture a New Mexico town authentically.

The Vast of Night Plot Summary

As mentioned earlier, ‘The Vast of Night’ is set in the 1950s, in Cayuga, New Mexico. It opens with a basketball match between the town’s team and their rivals. Everett is a radio show host covering the match. His friend, Fay, on the other hand, is a switchboard operator.

While operating the switchboard, Fay hears a staticky, electric humming sound. The same sound is heard on the radio while a woman tells the police about seeing a giant object above her head. Fay calls Everett about the sound. Everett asks anyone with information regarding the sound to call him, announcing it on the radio. A man who used to work in the military calls. He talks about a secretive military operation whereby a square hole had been dug in the ground. He tells them that a friend in Cayuga recorded the sound that was heard from this mysterious object in the sky.

The caller’s friend has died, but his tapes are in the library. Fay steals the tape, and Everett plays the sound on the radio. The station’s lights go off. Then, they rush to the switchboard anticipating more calls. A woman named Mabel Blanche calls them and invites them to her house. Blanche tells them how her son, as an infant used to mutter strange words. Everett and Fay record Blanche saying the strange words. Then, at the age of nine, he had walked out of the house and vanished…his footsteps having disappeared after 150 yards. She thinks that whatever is up there took her son. She thinks that whatever is up there plays with people’s minds and only visits small towns like Cayuga, at the time of large gatherings.

Upon leaving, Everett and Fay find burnt trees in the woods. Then, the two see a UFO. The game ends. There is no one at the radio station. Fay’s tape recorder is on the ground.

The Vast of Night Ending Explained: Is the UFO Real? What Happened to Everett and Fay?

The ending of ‘The Vast of Night’ certainly leaves tons of questions in viewers’ minds. It might seem like an open ending, but there is a logical explanation for the events depicted. To begin with, some viewers might think that the UFO could be in Everett and Fay’s minds. One theory could be that the events in the film are merely a reflection of the prevalence of UFO sightings of the period. However, that is not the case. Firstly, this is what Everett and Fay see:

There are various reasons provided in the movie which point out to the fact that whatever Everett and Fay see is very real, and not something in their imagination. First of all, let us rewind and understand what exactly happens just before Everett and Fay go into the woods. Everett and Fay are in Gerald and Bertsie’s car, trying to reach Fay’s cousin. Gerald and Bertsie are the ones who had spotted something in the sky. This is when Everett plays the tape with Blanche saying the strange words she had heard her son saying.

When the tape is played, Gerald and Bertsie fall unconscious. They regain consciousness when the tape is stopped. This points to the fact that the aliens played with Gerald’s and Bertsie’s mind after they spotted the UFO. Upon hearing the words, they fell asleep. Blanche had told Fay and Everett how she thinks whatever is up there plays with people’s minds. Nothing happened to Everett or Fay since they hadn’t seen the UFO. Similarly, nothing happened to Blanche while she heard her son say the words because she hadn’t seen the UFO as well.

There is no other explanation for Gerald and Bertsie falling unconscious at the same time when the tape is played. Hence, the aliens probably control the people using those words, after doing something to them when they see the UFO. Perhaps, they had been controlling Gerald and Bertsie so that they would crash the car, not allowing Everett and Fay to continue their investigation. Alternatively, they might have wanted Fay to get scared and run into the woods and find the UFO along with Everett so that they could control more people. Their motivations are unclear, and that is somewhat left to viewers’ imagination.

The next question is what happened to Everett and Fay. The most logical explanation to that is they got abducted by the aliens, similar to how Blanche’s son had been. Firstly, Everett is not at the radio station covering the match. That is obviously quite important to him. Moreover, the tape recorder is shown on the ground. Everett would not have dropped it on the ground had he not been in danger.

The above clues point out to the fact that the UFO was very real. The burnt trees in the woods are another minor indication. That is what the tape recorder at the end signifies.

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