One man. One night. One dead body. So begins The Vigil, the debut feature from writer- director Keith Thomas. Set in Brooklyn’s Hasidic Borough Park neighborhood, the horror movie taps into Jewish lore and demonology in its tale of an overnight “shomer” haunted by...well, something.
Dave Davis stars as Yakov, cash-strapped and newly liberated from his insular religious community, as he agrees to watch over a dead body to, as per tradition, protect it from evil. “Shortly after arriving at the recently departed’s dilapidated house to sit the vigil,” reads a synopsis, “Yakov begins to realize that something is very, very wrong.”
Watch a teaser for IFC Midnight’s upcoming release below:
The teaser also comes with a statement from Thomas:
When I sat down to write the very first draft of The Vigil, I knew I wanted to tell a personal story that felt universal. The movie would be very contained and the stakes would, at first glance, seem small—one man, one ritual, and one struggle with a threatening force. But the stories I gravitate towards, the stories I like to tell, are rooted in tangible human experience. One person’s struggle can take on a mythic quality that resonates far more than stories about countries or even worlds at war. All of us have suffered “dark nights of the soul” (likely several times over during the upheaval of the past year) and most of us emerge from those lean and often frightening hours changed – generally for the better but sometimes for the worse.
The Vigil, which also stars Menashe Lustig and Lynn Cohen, premieres in theaters and on VOD on February 26.