Director: Keith Thomas
Writer: Keith Thomas (Screenplay)
Starring: Dave Davis, Menashe Lustig, Malky Goldman, Lynn Cohen, Fred Melamed, Ronald Cohen
Plot: A man providing overnight watch to a deceased member of his former Orthodox Jewish community finds himself opposite a malevolent entity, in writer-director Keith Thomas’ electrifying feature debut.
Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Vigil starts when former orthodox Jew Yakov Ronen (Davis) reluctantly accepts a job for his old friend Reb Shulem (Lustig) as a Shomer for the night to watch over a recently deceased man, the job pays well, so Yakov takes it.
As the night unfolds, Yakov whose faith has started to leave him, starts to experience visions through the night, with a malevolent entity circling the body in the home.
Thoughts on The Vigil
Characters & Performances – Yakov Ronen was once an orthodox Jew, but his life changed through an incident, he is running low on money and reluctantly accepts a job for the night as a shomer, to watch over a deceased body for a night. Yakov is trying to move on with his life, not taking the job as seriously as he should, which sees him coming into contact with a malevolent entity that isn’t going to let him walk away from this night. Dave Davis shows us a character that is hurting inside, that is also showing the strength he is using to hide the pain he is going through. Reb Shulem is the friend that askes Yakov for the favour, he knows it might not be what he believes in now, but has nobody else qualified to does this task. Mrs Litvak is the widow that will be around the house, she will answer questions that might circle the haunting in the house. The supporting cast are all strong through this film.
Story – The Vigil follows a former orthodox Jew who takes a job as a shomer to watch over a deceased man, which should be an easy job, takes a turn when he starts getting haunted by a malevolent entity that will test his own past. This is a story that will bring us into a Jewish traditional culture moment, one that most people wouldn’t know much about beforehand, which will lead to us learning the reason for the shomer role, while not the horror side of the film. The idea that Yakov needs to battle against his past, plays into the horror, showing us what could be used to let an evil entity in, making someone more vulnerable. There is one big clever twist on not being able to escape the house, which will give us one of the best sides to the story.
Themes – The Vigil does give us slow building horror moments, leading up to the scares, with the use of music being used to make the big impact in the moment. The whole film takes place in the one location, a house in the middle of city, even with the big moment trying to escape this, pulling him back.
Yakov trying to escape and the aftermath of what happens if he does.
The scares are all built up well, getting the reward for waiting for the horror moment.
Final Thoughts – The Vigil is a horror that will keep you on the edge of your, waiting for the pure horror to be unleashed.
THE VIGIL IS AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL NOW AND DVD ON 4TH JANUARY 2021