The Vigil

The Vigil ★★★★

One thing about horror movies that I can really get behind is when they delve into actual lore. The movie The Rake, which I recently watched, came close with a more recent monster or demon that became popular on the internet. This movie, as far as I know, introduces the Mazzikin, which comes from Jewish lore. The Mazzikin feeds off a person's trauma and pain. In this movie, it was feeding off a man who survived WWII and his biggest trauma comes from a moment where he is forced to kill another prisoner. This man has recently passed away and Yakox is asked to become a shomer, someone who keeps vigil over the body while reading passages from the Torah. With the passing of the man, the Mazzikin is looking for a new person to feed off of. The widow tells Yakov to leave when she meets him, but he doesn't. Feeling guilty for not doing more to help his brother when he died, the Mazzikin thinks it has found a new host and begins playing mind games with Yakov.

While I found the story a little predictable at times, I was still happy to learn about something new in lore. The demon is rarely seen in the movie, but what I found the most interesting about the way it is supposed to look is its head is tuned 180 degrees, representing that it is always looking into the past. That makes sense since that is where one's pains and trauma are. The movie also has a slow pace to it, but it fits this type of story really. I'm not sure if fancy effects or making it gory would have worked very well. I didn't find this one to be very tense, even though that was what they were going for. I think that had more to do with me finding it easy to figure out when the demon was messing with Yakov though. It was still a very good movie and I'm looking forward to watching it again someday.

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