The Vigil (2019)
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Sadly, director Keith Thomas doesn't trust his own themes or visual sense, swallowing his entire film up in abrasive sound design and a reliance on jump scares.
There's a neat moment where the film's hero puts on a yarmulke and teffilin like he's donning supernatural battle armour, but mostly The Vigil feels like a novel short film stretched out to feature length.
Even as The Vigil settles into a familiar routine, it tackles that task with a polished, at times even elegant approach to a haunted house formula.
What works better is how Thomas transforms Orthodox culture into gory material for a slightly elevated horror flick, with Yakov ultimately turning to Hebrew prayer as his only way out of hell.
The cultural context adds novelty to an effectively creepy, small-scale chiller that does a nice job eking suspense from its simple story and limited setting.
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