By Ian Crow

‘The Vigil’ is the new supernatural demonic horror movie released by Vertigo Releasing. Directed by unknown director Keith Thomas, the film revolves around Yakov, a man who is estranged from his Orthodox Jewish community who decides to provide overnight watch to a recently deceased member of the community. Paid for his services and desperate for the money, Yakov soon finds out that this is not one of the regular jobs he’s done before. As the night goes on, Yakov has to battle his way through his faith with his religion, past trauma and the demonic jewish mythology creature, the Dybbuk.

Over the years, as a Horror fan, I have sat through the many different incarnations of demonic based movies. Ever since ‘Paranormal Activity’ spooked its way through cinemas way back when, film makers still find reasons to keep using this template of horror that should have been stopped years ago. Saying this, ‘The Vigil’ does offer something unique about it that separates it from other demonic based movies. The use of Orthodox Jewish religion is a new one for me and the use of a known demonic mythology creature in the Dybbuk brings a sense of reality to the story. The characters in the film openly use the Yiddish language as well which makes it feel more authentic towards the mythology and the religion portrayed in the film. Not only that, but this is Keith Thomas’s first feature film and it’s a great start for what seems to be a promising director.

Although it doesn’t necessarily invent the wheel or add anything new to the genre, the film leans on past demonic based movies well to create an enjoyable and at times, suspenseful movie. Over the years we have had some great debut horror movies such as ‘Saw’ by the great James Wan, ‘Get Out’ by Jordan Peele and ‘Hereditary’ by Ari Aster. Keith Thomas hasn’t quite hit those debut heights with ‘The Vigil’, but it’s a good start from him and I look forward to future projects that he has up his sleeve. 

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