OTT Film: The Vigil
The Vigil Cast: Dave Davis, Lynn Cohen, Menashe Lustig, Malky Goldman, Fred Melamed, Ronald Cohen
The Vigil Director: Keith Thomas
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Horror movies, especially supernatural horror about demonic possessions and hauntings are a big thing in India even though our country itself has produces very few noteworthy ones itself. So, with people having been exposed to and having reveled in bone-chilling, spine-tingling fare like the recent Conjuring franchise and other spooky entries like Lights Out, and those that have had an appetite for such paranormal horror movies like The Exorcist, The Omen, The Shining, Poltergeist and
The Sixth Sense since decades; filmmakers these days really need to pull their socks up when crossing over to the diabolical realm. Does The Vigil, seeped in Jewish folklore, manage to do so. Well, the short answer is no, but the contextual response is that it's not a total drab. So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether The Vigil is worth your time? Scroll down for my full The Vigil review...
What's it about
In orthodox Jewish culture, when someone dies, a family member or an individual from the Rabbi community, acts as a shomer, staging an all-night 'vigil' for the deceased, while reciting prayers from holy Jewish texts for the smooth transgression of the soul to the afterlife. When Yakov Ronen, who recently quit the Rabbi community after a personal tragedy, is tasked with doing so with the lure of some fast cash, little does he know what he's getting himself into.
Watch The Vigil trailer below: VIDEO
Dave Davis is first-rate as the protagonist who's thrust into an unknown, inexplicable situation and Lynn Cohen, who's his only supporting cast member for most of the movie, is sufficiently creepy. Zach Kuperstein's cameraworkm and especially his lighting, evoke a sinister atmosphere for the most part and, thankfully, the movie hardly overstays its welcome at approximately 85 minutes. Plus, there are some moments albeit just a handful that are genuinely scary.
The primary job of a horror movie, especially one that deals with the supernatural, is to scare you, and to that effect, The Vigil doesn't accomplish its task quite as well as it needed to. Keith Thomas out out all the stopes and dishes out all the familiar tropes, but throughout the film, you get a sense of 'been there, seen that, and seen it better' (barring a few moments as mentioned before). Making matters worse is Michael Yezerski's poor background score that fails to augment a sense of tension or a chilling aura.
If you really wish to get spooked with a couple of good horror movies seeped in the dark side of Jewish folklore, then I'd recommend the 2012 American film, The Possession, and it's equally scary 2017 Malayalam remake, Ezra. The Vigil barely touches the surface of spooks that those two evoked. I'm going with 2.5 out of 5 stars.
2.5 out of 5
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