THE VAST OF NIGHT*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film starts with an intro to a “Twilight Zone”-esque show called “Paradox Theater” to set the story up as an episode of the show. It begins in the 1950’s in Cayuga, New Mexico. As the local high school is gearing up for an evening basketball game, radio DJ Everett Sloan (Jake Horowitz) is called to handle an issue under the bleachers, but is told that they were asking for EMMETT.
Everett goes with switchboard operator Fay Crocker (Sierra McCormick) as they practice with a recorder to see how Fay can project her voice before going around the school’s parking lot to do little interviews with game patrons. Afterwards, they walk to their respective posts and record their talk about science experiments and other related anecdotes before parting ways.
Fay goes to manage the switchboard and starts to take callers while playing some music. Just as Everett starts to play his show, Fay hears a distorted and staticky noise over the radio. She then takes another caller who claims to see some kind of large figure over her land near the canyon, like a tornado, and the same frequency can be heard from her end. Fay calls a couple of other people she knows to see if they also hear the sound, but she keeps getting disconnected from them. She decides to call Everett in the middle of the show to ask for his help. He plays the sound over his show to see if anybody might recognize it.
After a smoke break, Fay and Everett get a caller named Billy (Bruce Davis). He recounts a story about his time in the military where he was taken by his superior officer to an unknown location in the desert with other soldiers. They saw something massive in a hole they worked on, but they knew little about what they were supposed to be doing. Billy mentions hearing the noise over the radio as they were heading home, and he eventually got very sick, which he believes was a result from being in that part in the desert. He learned that some of the other soldiers also got sick. Billy gets cut off the air but can’t get back on since he will not disclose his location to Everett. Off the air, Billy admits that he thinks nobody else would listen to his story because he is black. He thinks that the military picked mainly black and Mexican men to work since nobody would listen to them. Billy also discloses that he and the other men were recently sent signal tapes from someone at Walker Base, and Billy heard the same noise on his tape. He destroyed his tape, but one tape in Cayuga was given to a man Billy knew that is now dead. Fay knows that the man’s wife donated tapes to the library, and they can use a tape recorder from there to hear the tape.
Fay and Everett head to the library with a car Everett stole. They gather the tapes and call Billy back, but the line cuts out. Everett plays the tapes back until he gets to one that plays a similar mystery noise. He plays the sound over his show, but the lights suddenly go out. Fay starts to freak out and then rushes back toward the switchboard until Everett drives her the rest of the way back. She finds a whole bunch of callers coming in. Fay tells Everett that people are claiming to see something in the sky. They get a call from a lady named Mabel Blanche (Gail Cronauer) who says she has a big story regarding what people are seeing.
Fay and Everett drive to Mabel’s house. She recounts her past, including a son she had named Hollis who apparently spoke a strange phrase she previously heard when he was ten months old. Hollis disappeared when he was four, and she thinks he was abducted. Mabel theorizes that whatever is in the sky will get people at the game based on her personal experiences. When Fay and Everett have to go, Mabel asks that they take her to the ship so she can see her son again, but they do not.
Fay remembers to check on her baby sister Maddy and their cousin Ethel (Brianna Beasley), and she sprints home. Maddy is safe but Ethel is nowhere to be found. Everett picks the sisters up and they return to the station. She hears from Ethel, who went off with her boyfriend, and they saw something in the sky. Fay and Everett are picked up by a couple they met earlier, Bertsie (Cheyenne Barton) and Gerald (Mark Banik) to head out of town to see what the thing in the sky is. On the way, they play a recording of Mabel speaking a foreign language. Gerald appears to fall asleep at the wheel and almost crashes. The kids flee the car and run into the woods. Everett goes to comfort Fay.
Everett inspects the ground and trees to find that they are burnt. As they walk further, they hear a faint humming and then see a UFO coming closer. Although they try to move away from it out of fear, Everett gets curious and walks closer to it, despite Fay’s protests. The craft reveals itself to be just as gigantic as described. Fay and Everett look up at it and hold each other close as a gust of wind envelopes them.
The game appears to end, and everyone starts to go home. The radio station is still empty, but the lights go back on. The last shot then cuts back to the field where Fay, Everett, and Maddy were, and the only thing left behind is a tape recorder in a pile of dust.
In Cayuga, New Mexico during the 50's, radio switchboard operator Fay hears a noise that sounds out of this world. She relays it to her friend, the radio's DJ Everett, who then helps Fay investigate what the sound is and where it's coming from.
The two hear from a caller named Billy who heard the sound during his time working a mysterious job in the desert while serving in the war. The teens get a hold of some tapes Billy mentioned, where they hear a similar sound being played. They are contacted by a shut-in named Mabel, who invites them over to her house to tell them a story about how her son was apparently abducted by the beings that are producing the sound.
After multiple reports of something in the sky, Fay and Everett, plus Fay's baby sister Maddie, find the UFO in the middle of a field. The ship passes over them, and it is implied that they were either taken or vaporized.