“Vanished into the Night” (Original Title: Svaniti nella notte) is a gripping drama that explores the harrowing journey of Pietro and Elena as they navigate the complexities of their failing marriage and the ultimate fight for custody of their children. Pietro is a gambler who has accumulated a lot of debt, while Elena is a psychotherapist who used to be addicted to drugs. The movie begins with Pietro, Elena, and their children on a boat trip.

The children disappear for a short time, but it turns out to be a prank. However, this incident foreshadows the events to come, as Giovanni and Bianca will later go missing for real. When the children go missing, Pietro receives a ransom call. This leads him to take up a shady job to get the money to pay the ransom. One after the other, events start to unravel, leading to the mystery behind Bianca and Giovanni’s disappearance.

This article contains spoilers.

Vanished Into The Night (Svaniti nella notte, 2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The film begins with Pietro, Elena, and their two children, Giovanni and Bianca, on a boat having fun. As they swim around, Giovanni and Bianca are nowhere to be found, making Pietro and Elena panic. However, the kids play pranks on them as they come out of the boat, revealing their hiding spot. In the present, Pietro and Elena are trying to come to an agreement to get a divorce. Both the lawyers put forth their cases. Pietro had taken to gambling, piling up debt. Elena had a wonderful career in America as a psychotherapist, and because of that, she had access to drugs and was addicted to them. In defense, Pietro says Elena had started to take addictive pills after an accident. After the meeting with the lawyers, Elena leaves town, letting the kids stay with Pietro.

What happened to Giovanni and Bianca?

Having the kids to himself for a couple of days, Pietro takes them on a boat, where they meet Nicholas, Pietro’s childhood friend. The kids want to hang out in Nicholas’s boat. But Pietro and Nicholas have grown apart as Pietro does not like the sort of business Nicholas does. However, Pietro succumbs to the kid’s pressure and lets them hang out with Nicholas. Once they arrive at Pietro’s house, a man called Santo tries to convince Pietro to sell his house. Pietro refuses, and Santo asks Pietro to pay up his debts instead. In spite of his worries, Pietro takes care of his kids, puts them to bed, sits, and watches a football game. The game time is disturbed when Giovanni is worried about a monster in his room, and Pietro helps him go back to sleep.

Late at night, when Pietro visits the kids’ room to check on them, they are missing. After searching everywhere, the kids are nowhere to be found. At that moment, Elena calls Pietro, and he informs her about the situation. Immediately, Elena rushes to Pietro. He receives a ransom call to deliver €1 50,000 by the next day, and the kids will be sent back. Assuming the ransom call was from Santo, Pietro leaves him a voicemail asking if Santo was the one who had kidnapped his kids. Since they don’t have that kind of money, Elena suggests that Pietro ask Nicholas for help. With a heavy heart, Pietro visits Nicholas, who asks him to do a small job in return for the money. With no options left, Pietro agrees.

What happens with the deal?

At first, Elena tries to stop Pietro from doing the job as it can be dangerous. But Pietro knows there is no other choice. As agreed, Pietro takes his boat out to Greece at night and dines at the only floating restaurant there. Unfortunately, as Nicholas has said, nobody contacts Pietro. Therefore, Pietro asks for the cheque, and on the bill, someone asks Pietro to get back home. Cautiously, Pietro pulls out his boat and starts the journey. But he stops when two smaller boats arrive, and the men give him a bag full of drugs. After receiving the money, they let Pietro go.

Vanished Into The Night (Svaniti nella notte, 2024)
A still from “Vanished Into The Night” (Svaniti nella notte, 2024)

On his way back to Bari, Pietro’s boat’s engine has a problem. While trying to fix it, he cuts his hand. The only option left is for Pietro to call the Coast Guard. They promptly arrive, but they inform him that the boat will only go to Otranto. As soon as they come to Otranto, Pietro takes a bus to Bari and tries reaching out to Elena. Unfortunately, she does not receive the call. As soon as he arrives in Bari, he fights with Nicholas for the money as he is intoxicated and holds Pietro at gunpoint. After a fistfight, Nicholas gives Pietro the money, and Pietro rushes to Elena’s house. At the house, Pietro is shocked and happy to see Bianca and Giovanni.

Vanished Into The Night (Svaniti nella notte, 2024) Movie Ending Explained:

Did Elena set up Pietro to get custody of her children?

As he embraces the kids, Elena walks in. She pretends not to know about the drug deal or the money. Furthermore, Elena claims that the children have been with her the whole time. Seeing Pietro in a confused state, Elena asks him to sign the consent forms at the airport as she will be taking the kids with her to America. Unable to understand what is going on, Pietro drives away and receives a voice message from Elena about Pietro talking about the drugs and dirty money he made from it, indirectly blackmailing him to give custody of the children to her.

Now, Pietro visits the children at the horse range and tries to make them remember the events that took place. But Elena arrives and stops him. At home, in the shower, Pietro puts together the pieces of the puzzle. Since Elena had access to drugs, she had entered the house when the kids were asleep, drugged them, and taken them with her. The next day, the kids wake up in Elena’s home, not knowing what has happened to them.

Will Pietro sign the consent forms?

Pietro pieced the puzzle when he found a cover of a pill inside the toilet, and to prove his suspicion, he visited Elena’s house and found the exact pill there. Now, rushing to the airport, Pietro calls Elena and says he will sign the consent form, but she needs to wait for him. Upon arriving at the airport, Pietro confronts Elena about what she has done. However, Elena is not bothered as she is sure the cops won’t be able to do anything if Pietro complains. Interestingly, Pietro has already spoken to a physician who confirmed that the drugs will be in the hair for a couple of days, which will prove what Elena has done. Annoyed that Elena had drugged their kids, Pietro puts his foot down and refuses to sign the consent and invariably gets custody of his children.

In retaliation, Elena only says that since Pietro was not coming to an agreement, she did not have any choice but to do what she had done. Elena also did not realize the danger she was putting Pietro in. Since Pietro does not want the kids to know what their mother has done, he takes them home. When he comes home, he receives a call from Santo saying they don’t touch children. So Pietro apologizes and asks Santo to come and get his money. After putting the children to bed, Pietro notices a woman approach the house from his peripheral vision.

In the end, Pietro gets the custody of Bianca and Giovanni. Nevertheless, the last scene suggests Elena is the woman in the shadows. It seems like she decided to bail on her idea to move to America and maybe work out the marriage to be close to her children. The film’s ambiguous ending suggests that the newly arranged custody agreement may be a temporary truce rather than a lasting resolution, given Elena’s manipulative tactics to gain custody and her coercion of Pietro into criminal activities.

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Vanished Into The Night (Svaniti nella notte, 2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
The Cast of Vanished Into The Night (Svaniti nella notte, 2024) Movie: Annabelle Wallis, Riccardo Scamarcio, Massimiliano Gallo
Vanished Into The Night (Svaniti nella notte, 2024) Movie Runtime: 1h 32m, Genre: Drama/Mystery & Thriller
Where to watch Vanished into the Night

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