2019 TIFF Movie Review: THE VIGIL (USA 2019) ***

The Vigil Poster
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.

Director:

Keith Thomas

Writer:

Keith Thomas

This Jewish horror seems ripe for terrorizing audiences with plenty of opportunities.  A shomer is a family member or paid person if the family member is unavailable to sit the night through with a corpse before burial to chant the evil spirits away.  The young shomer (Dave Davis) is guilty for letting a young boy under his watch bullied and die.  

 

The house where he is shoming is kept by the deceased widow who has Alzheimer’s and who expresses cryptic reservations as to the man’s ability to carry out the task.  The man begins to imagine things or are the things really happening?  Director Thomas in his debut feature takes 30 minutes to set up his film before scaring the audience with the usual  

 

THE VIGIL is a straight forward scary tale with noises in the dark, shadows in dark space etc. The Orthodox Jewish setting is a welcome one.

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