The Vigil is a dark and frightening story, that focuses around Yakov Ronen (Dave Davis), a young Jewish man who recently left his Hasidic community and has been left feeling isolated and short of money.
While travelling home one night, Yakov is approached by a member of his ex-community who offers Yakov an overnight job to be a Shomer. Now if you’re like myself, I wasn’t familiar with this job title, but in the Jewish community, a Shomer is one who guards, or watches over an object belonging to someone else. In this case, Yakov is asked to look over the body of Mrs. Litvak’s (Lynn Cohen) deceased husband.
Wanting to stick to his decisions with not being apart the community, Yakov finds it hard to turn down the offer when he’s in desperate need of cash and accepts this once-off offer and heads to the destination at a small house.
While Yakov settles in for a long night, almost instantly he starts to hear some noises coming within the house but presumes it’s Mrs. Litvak upstairs in her room. Lights begin to flicker, and in my head I begin scream for Yovak to get the heck out of there. But Yovak is much braver than me and continues the job at hand.
As the night goes on, Yakov begins to start seeing things that don’t add up and blames his medication for what he feels are hallucinations. Panic and fear begin to settle into Yakov and he is startled by Mrs. Litvak who shares a very cryptic message before leaving the scene making things that much more confusing and terrifying. With the unusual activity happening, Yovak knows it’s no longer safe to complete the job but is it already too late to save himself?
I applaud Keith Thomas who wrote and directed this masterpiece, which was his first big screen film. He did such an impressive job and I’m eager to see what films he releases in the future. Hopefully more horror, seeing as he did so well with The Vigil, but will keep a close eye on his upcoming projects nonetheless.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a horror film like this, where the creativity feels fresh and hasn’t been done before. Now of course, I’ve seen horror films that involve a dark entity causing fear and pain onto a victim, but it’s almost like the Jewish background connection made this all feel like a brand new story that I hadn’t seen before.
I highly recommend The Vigil for fans who enjoy a terrifying horror that gets the heart racing and will leave shaken up as the credits roll.