A lapsed Orthodox Jewish man tasked with keeping watch over a dead member of his former community is faced with a malignant force in this distinctive, hair-raising chiller.
Set in Boro Park, Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, writer-director Keith Thomas’s striking debut inventively draws on Jewish superstitions to build a singularly unnerving entry into the canon of great haunted house horror. Though he’s estranged from the religious community in which he was raised, cash-strapped Yakov (Dave Davis) reluctantly agrees to fill in at the last minute as a shomer, a guardian who watches over the recently deceased from the time of death until burial. With no one to keep him company but a dead body and the man’s creepy widow (Lynn Cohen), Yakov settles in for what promises to be an uneventful night. But when strange, disquieting things begin to occur, Yakov begins to realize why the previous shomer was scared away. Over the course of a terrifying night, Yakov must keep this mysterious, malevolent entity at bay. Steeped in Jewish lore, THE VIGIL applies its cultural specificity to an elegantly crafted, thoroughly frightening supernatural thriller with unsettling undertones of generational trauma.
CAST: Dave Davis, Menashe Lustig, Malky Goldman, Lynn Cohen
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