Jewish horror, not something that is usually done in mainstream horrors, is something that can be more terrifying than a usual typical horror movie. As a person of Jewish descent, something as frightening and annoying as a family gathering can be horror educing, see my thoughts on Shiva Baby here, http://www.eyecrave.net/features/days-of/shiva-baby-31-nights-of-halloween-review/. However, feature debut from writer and director Keith Thomas, The Vigil, is something absolutely horrifying. The Vigil relies more on psychological horror than anything else, and certainly will haunt you for days to come.
The film focuses on Yakov Ronen played by Dave Davis, who is down on his luck, piss broke, and willing to do anything to make some extra cash in his time of need. His former rabbi Reb Shulem played by Menashe Lustig asks him to be shomer, which is a religious practice for the orthodox to sit awake after someone passes before the funeral. Reluctant at first, Yakov agrees to be the shomer for the money, while Reb is hoping it pushes him back to finding his religion. What is unknown to Reb is that Yakov has been struggling to sleep, struggling with money having to debate between eating and taking his medicine, that maybe tasking him with staying awake all night was not the best call for this man. With him fighting his inner demons, following the Jewish tradition of protecting the body, and the supernatural horrors that come forward, The Vigil packs the horror punch that brings everything forward for terrifying terrors.
Dave Davis is a revelation in The Vigil blending the lines of reality and possibly of his own issues, making the audience completely engaged within the story not knowing what they’re truly being exposed to. His performance truly engulfs the entire film capturing the audience and leaving them begging for more as each second passes. The Vigil is one of those very rare horror movies that lingers and stays with you for days afterwards, maybe even weeks. If you haven’t seen this brilliantly told and phenomenally acted horror please do yourself a favour and strap yourself in for one truly terrifying adventure.
Crave Factor 8.5/10