The Vigil Trailer Is an Eerie, Unsettling Curiosity

Following an onslaught of images over bone-crunching sound effects, a shaken man audibly announces, “something is very, very wrong here.” IFC Midnight’s trailer for upcoming horror film The Vigil sits at a tight 70 seconds but offers all the things I want out of a horror film: a creepy setting, unsettling noises, and plenty of WTF imagery. Best of all, it does this without giving away a damn thing.  

The synopsis of the film steeped in a Hebrew tradition known as Shemira (שמירה‎) in which a guardian—a shomer (שומר‎) or shomeret (שומרת‎)—watches over the body of the recently deceased until the burial. The original intention being to guard the body against any desecration from rodents before placing the body in a more permanent setting and providing the family some solace in a time of grief. The more spiritual context suggests that the soul stays with the body in this time and the movie seems to promote that something far more sinister may be trying to inhabit the body.  

While we don’t get a whole lot of context in this trailer, I have a feeling it’s going to be a heavily sound-focused film. From the ticking of the grandfather clock at the start to the tense cracking noises Yakov (Dave Davis) begins to hear as he desperately waits for the evening to give way to morning, I believe Yakov may be in for an assault on his senses. From the images we are able to briefly make out I get an eerie, dread-filled vibe that parallels The Grudge. There’s a sheeted figure with bloody eyes, an entity among the woods, Yakov paralyzed on a sidewalk, a woman’s face being grabbed by ghostly pale fingers, and another face being lit on fire all of which has me extremely interested in what is going to happen next and curious to understand what the hell is upstairs in that house! This is Director Keith Thomas’ debut feature but he’s already been tapped to direct the upcoming Firestarter remake starring Zac Efron leading me to suspect this movie might pack a punch.

The Vigil will be coming to VOD and theaters on Feb 26. 

So what do you think of the trailer for The Vigil? Do you agree with Sean that it’s creepy and unsettling? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Sean Parker

Living just outside of Boston, Sean has always been facinated by what horror can tell us about contemporary society. He started writing music reviews for a local newspaper in his twenties and found a love for the art of thematic and symbolic analysis. Sean joined Horror Obsessive at it's inception, and is currently the site's Creative Director. He produces and edits the weekly Horror Obsessive podcast for the site as well as his interviews with guests. He has recently started his foray into feature film production as well, his credits include Alice Maio Mackay's Bad Girl Boogey, Michelle Iannantuono's Livescreamers, and Ricky Glore's upcoming Troma picture, Sweet Meats.

Count Dracula (Béla Lugosi) holds one arm out in a beckoning welcome and holds a candle in the other hand in the film, "Dracula" (1931).

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