The Vigil

The Vigil ★★★★

Antisemitism is a demon that we cannot seem to shake.

I wasn’t raised Jewish (I converted) so I couldn’t possibly understand being raised by a community with very recent Holocaust scars, but I know the feeling of leaving the house every day agonized by the hope that nobody harasses me for wearing my Magen David necklace.

This is a very Jewish movie. Don’t expect it to hold your hand or explain anything to you but that’s okay — Christian exorcism movies never bother to explain themselves so why should this one? It pairs the pain of the Holocaust - something even goyim can grasp - with the pain of leaving your community, family, faith, and your entire life as you knew it. While Docs like Unorthodox lead you to believe the Orthodox community is a cult, that’s not always accurate. However, it cannot be ignored that there are many people like those in this movie who struggle to live a secular life after leaving their communities. Just like many Holocaust survivors struggle to live an assimilated life after the Holocaust.

It’s atmospheric and spooky. It’s also downright scary. Yeah it has jump scares but I give up fighting that. The eventual encounter with the entity may seem lackluster to those used to Christian demon films, but there’s no wrath/fire and brimstone with Judaism like there is in Christianity. Not sorry.

I liked this a lot. Yeah it needed a little touching up but I hardly think it’s deserving of the low median rating it gets on here.

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