March 4, 2011 at 1:00 am

Review: 'Vanishing on 7th St.' not worth watching

Thandie Newton and Hayden Christensen star in the Detroit-shot film . (Magnolia Pictures)

If you like mystery movies where the mystery never gets solved … well, you probably still won't like "Vanishing on 7th St."

This is one of those movies where some massive, unexplained phenomenon happens, and the few survivors run around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to figure out how to stay alive.

As with most such films, few figure it out, and even they end up question marks.

Out of nowhere the lights go dark in Detroit — yes, this movie was shot here — and most people suddenly disappear. We're talking piles of clothes on the ground where they used to be.

Except, a few people somehow escape this fate by staying near light. Chiefly, that would include a good-looking TV journalist (Hayden Christensen) who just moved to the area. While stumbling around downtown, he finds a bar on 7th Street — maybe this is a stand-in for purgatory since there is no notable 7th Street in Detroit — that still has lights on.

Inside is a kid (Jacob Latimore) who's keeping a generator going while waiting for his mother to return (fat chance).

Eventually, a nurse (Thandie Newton) and a movie projectionist (John Leguizamo) also wander in, and the group goes through the five stages of movie panic together.

Those would be shooting guns, screaming, yelling at one another, running off on a mission to nowhere and then screaming some more.

That's about all director Brad Anderson ("The Machinist") has to offer. Oh, there are some spooky shadow people, too. Whooo — they might eat you or something.

Prediction: "Vanishing on 7th St." will vanish from theaters very quickly.

'Vanishing on 7th St.'

GRADE: D

Rated R: For language

Running time: 90 minutes

tlong@detnews.com

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