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The Vigil (2019)

1:11 | Trailer

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Releases February 26, 2021
A man providing overnight watch to a deceased member of his former Orthodox Jewish community finds himself opposite a malevolent entity, in writer-director Keith Thomas' electrifying feature debut.


Keith Thomas


Keith Thomas
1,724 ( 438)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dave Davis ... Yakov Ronen
Menashe Lustig ... Reb Shulem
Malky Goldman ... Sarah
Lynn Cohen ... Mrs. Litvak
Fred Melamed ... Dr. Marvin Kohlberg
Ronald Cohen Ronald Cohen ... Mr. Rubin Litvak
Nati Rabinowitz ... Lane
Moshe Lobel ... Lazer
Efraim Miller Efraim Miller ... Hersch
Lea Kalisch ... Adinah
Ethan Stone ... Burech
Hunter Menken Hunter Menken ... SS Officer
Emilio Vitolo ... Scott
Logan Macrae Logan Macrae ... Carson
Spencer Zender ... Eric


In the Hasidic community of Boro Park, Brooklyn, a despondent young man, short on both faith and funds, reluctantly agrees to assume the responsibility of an overnight shimmer and fulfill the Jewish practice of watching over the body of a deceased member of the Orthodox community. With only the company of the recently departed and an ailing widow who expresses cryptic reservations as to the man's ability to carry out the task, he soon finds himself exposed to a terrifying haunting within the claustrophobic confines of a home that has become host to a malevolent entity. In what is essentially a one-man show, Dave Davis is profoundly affecting in his portrayal of the hesitant sentinel, exuding an empathetic combination of frayed nerves and timid weariness. Throughout this uncanny night, his vigil gradually transforms into a harrowing spiritual investigation of both his cursed surroundings and his pitiable past - a journey in which the very recesses of his community's collective trauma ... Written by Toronto International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rooted in Jewish culture and mysticism, The Vigil is a supernatural horror film set in a unique world: The Hasidic community of "Boro" Park, Brooklyn.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for terror, some disturbing/violent images, thematic elements and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Not explained in detail, in Jewish religion the vigil along one night of a corpse is named shemira (Hebrew word for "watching" or "guarding"), where a guardian (called shomer for males, shomeret for females and shomrim in plural indistinctly) passes the night with the recent deceased. The purpose of this vigil is custody to this recently deceased in his/her house until the sunrise for the arrival of the funeral service previous to the burial, standing in the same room with the corpse all the time. Mentioned in the prologue, usually a guardian is a familiar or close friend with the deceased, although it's possible to hire a guardian if there isn't a friend or relative to make the vigil or anyone is available for it. Another attribute of the guardian is for reading the Torah (Holy Bible for Jews), to prevent that a demon or evil being take possession of the deceased, as well as for avoiding that the shomer/shomeret be possessed by it. See more »

User Reviews

Expected more from this indie film
2 December 2020 | by fang_proxySee all my reviews

Waited a long time and was excited to watch it, it started great but it was nothing but a typical hollywood movie with the same generic formula. Sadly there aren't any good horror movies but hopefully, indie filmmakers will come up with some original concepts.

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English | Yiddish | Hebrew

Release Date:

26 February 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Vigil See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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