The Darkness, also known as The Shadows and The Souls, is the antagonist in the 2010 post-apocalyptic film Vanishing on 7th Street.
The Darkness is composed of living shadows, apparently those of deceased humans. Their origin is unknown, but they were already active in the 16th Century. In the dark, they are able to make people vanish by touching them, leaving only their clothes and non-biological parts behind. Apparently, their victims are teleported into a pitch black dimension. However, the shadows are very afraid of the light and can't approach anyone who is holding some sources of light, no matter how slight they are. For unknown reasons, they only attack humans, but not animals. Although they seem to be mindless, they are actually very intelligent as they are able to speak and can fool their victims by imitating voices and lure them in lightless places. They also appear to cause their victims to hallucinate before they vanish, and strangely they seem to be able to physically hit and hurt people. By an unknown way, they manage to gradually shorten the hours of daylight.
The first known appearance of The Darkness occurred during the 16th Century. On the Roanoke Island, the shadows made over a hundred settlers vanish during a night, leaving behind them a trace in the form of the word "CROATOAN" carved into a tree.
In the present, The Darkness reappears and makes everyone vanish in the cities of Detroit, Chicago, and possibly the whole world. In a theater in Detroit, Paul, a projectionist with a headlamp, finds that everyone has vanished after the lights turned off, except a security guard who is holding a flashlight. As the two men investigate, the guard's flashlight goes out and he vanishes, then Paul's headlamp goes out as well and the shadows take him. At the same time in a hospital, a woman named Rosemary lights her lighter during the blackout, then she realizes that everybody in the hospital has vanished. She encounters a patient, but she sees him vanish shortly after. After returning to her home, she discovers that her baby has also vanished.
The following morning, a news reporter named Luke who has slept near some candles comes out in the street and sees that almost everyone has vanished. He goes to the news station and discovers a recording which shows his girlfriend vanishing when the lights go out. He also sees a recording of a man who said that Chicago is safe,and then the shadows attacking him but he manages to narrowly escape from them.
Three days later, Luke is trying to scavenge flashlight batteries and unexpectedly discovers a truck who is still operational. He briefly encounters a man who asks him to help, but he vanishes after the shadows attacked him. Soon after, Luke finds a bar powered by a backup generator and enters therein. He meets James, the bartender's young son, who waits for his mother who went to a church. Later, Rosemary also comes at the bar. For his part, Paul has his headlight reactivated on again and reappears in the street after three days trapped in a pitch black dimension. After seeing him, Luke reluctantly comes to take him to the bar.
After deliberating, the group decides to use the truck found by Luke and to go to Chicago. Luke and Rosemary leave the bar to fetch it but they are attacked by the shadows and Rosemary vanishes after being tricked by The Darkness who impersonated her baby. At the bar, Paul is also attacked by the shadows while James is in the bathroom and vanishes as well. Finally, Luke manages to come back to the bar with the truck and he escapes with James, however when they pass the church, The Darkness impersonates James's mother so he gets out to find her. Luke leaves, but after a conflict of conscience and seeing the word "CROATOAN" carved into a sign hanging off a bridge, he returns to the church where James is attacked by the shadows. Unfortunatly, the truck's battery dies and the high beams turn off, then Luke too vanishes. The shadows then attack James, but a candle protects him during the night.
At sunrise, James encounters a young girl named Briana who survived with a solar powered flashlight. They later see a police horse and decide to take it to go to Chicago. The sun rapidly sets and at the bar, the shadows of Luke, Paul and Rosemary watch the two children leaving the city, protected against The Darkness thanks to Briana's flashlight.