The Vigil (2019)

The Vigil
Director: Keith Thomas
Writer: Keith Thomas
Cast: Dave Davis, Menashe Lustig, Malky Goldman, Lynn Cohen, Fred Melamed, Ronald Cohen
Seen on: 19.8.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) antisemitism

Plot:
Yakov (Dave Davis) recently left the Jewish Orthodox community and is now trying to adapt to a life outside of it. It isn’t easy, especially since the community doesn’t necessarily want to let him go. When Reb Shulem (Menashe Lustig) asks Yakov to be shomer for the night – to sit vigil with the body of an old holocaust survivor – Yakov only accepts because it is a paid position. He relieves the deceased man’s wife Mrs Litvak (Lynn Cohen), who is showing signs of dementia, and takes over the watch. But things quickly take a dark turn and Yakov finds himself facing something evil.

The Vigil impresses with its setting and Davis’ impeccable performance in a film that is focused almost entirely on him. But it isn’t quite as effective at the horror as it would have needed to be to really sell me on it.

The film poster showing Yakov (Dave Davis) sitting in an arm chair with a brungin candle. A shadowy hand is reaching for him.
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