Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 20: The Vigil (2021)

When it comes to demons, there are plenty of horror movies based on the Christian concept of a "demon," but not many that delve into the Jewish version. The Vigil is one of them.

The setup reminded me a lot of one of my all time faves, The House of the Devil, with both protagonists taking on sketchy last minute, late night "babysitting" gigs because they need the money. In The Vigil, Yakov (Dave Davis) is still settling into life outside of the Orthodox community he left after a traumatic event, finding it hard to find work, and even figure out everything his cell phone can do. When he's offered a five hour gig as a Shomer, keeping vigil over a dead man's body until dawn, he initially turns it down, until he's able to negotiate and raise the pay to $400.

It's a pretty classic horror movie scenario, but director Keith Thomas is able to do a lot with a little. Most of the movie takes place in one place, and dark corners are used to very scary effect. It relies a bit too much on typical horror movie jump scares, and I could have done with less of the intrusive score, but for the most part I liked getting a glimpse into a less familiar culture's horror mythology. Veteran actress Lynn Cohen, probably best known for her role as Miranda's maid Magda in Sex and the City, is also great in one of her final screen roles, as the dead man's widow.

The Vigil is streaming on Hulu and is available to rent on several online platforms, including Amazon Prime and Apple TV.


Lady M said...

Cool - I was looking for a scary movie for Saturday night and this fits the tickets. Thanks for your post!

Rain said...

Let me know what you think!

Michelle aka Naila Moon said...

Different perspective...I like it!

Aimee Pavy said...

Really liked in, so creepy and tense! And now I know was a tefillin and a mazzikin are!