Set one night in the Hasidic Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, “Vigil” is a supernatural horror film rooted in ancient Jewish traditions and demonology. The story revolves around Yaakov (Dave Davis), who is out of money after recently leaving his religious community on the island. Reluctantly, Jacob accepts the offer of his former rabbi and confidant (Menashe Lustig) to take over the “shumerkah,” the Jewish custom of caring for the body of a deceased member of the community. Shortly after Jacob arrives at the dilapidated home of the recently deceased Vigil, he begins to realize that something is very wrong.
Critics of La Vigile praise Keith Thomas for taking religious images and making them into something new and unique, as well as for his use of visual effects and sound design. A quick look at the sources suggests that he was inspired by The Exorcist, which has influenced countless horror films over the past few decades. However, La Vigile has much more to offer horror fans who watch it. Here’s what Thomas had to say about his film.
“When I started writing the very first version of The Vigil, I knew I wanted to tell a personal story that I felt was universal. The film will be very understated, and the stakes will seem small at first – one person, one ritual and one fight with a threatening force. But the stories that attract me, the stories I love to tell, are rooted in tangible human experience.”
Keith Thomas went on to say that “one man’s struggle can take on a mythic quality that resonates far more than the stories of countries or even worlds at war” when he spoke of the reasons that led him to found the Vigil. “We have all suffered from the ‘dark nights of the soul’ at one time or another (probably several times during last year’s turmoil), and most of us come out of those bleak and often frightening hours changed – usually for the better, but sometimes for the worse,” he said. The director also revealed what horror fans can expect during the Vigil, which you can read below.
“If you came to the movie for the thrill, I hope you enjoy it and that it keeps you awake. If you came for a glimpse of a closed world known only to a few ordinary people, I assure you it is authentic. Whatever your reason for seeing “The Vigil,” I hope you find something in our little story that haunts you, that burns like a splinter in your head and makes you think. Even if it’s just for a few heartbeats”.
The vigil is written and directed by Keith Thomas. The Night Watch stars Dave Davis as Jacob Ronen, Menashe Lustig [yi] as Reb Shulem, Malky Goldman as Sarah, Fred Melamed as Dr. Colberg, Lynn Cohen as Mrs. Litvack, Ronald Cohen as Mr. Litvack, Nati Rabinowitz as Lane, Moshe Lobel as Lazer, Leah Kalish as Adina and Ephraim Miller as Hersh. You can watch the trailer for Night Watch above, thanks to IFC Films’ YouTube channel.
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Topics : Vigil