The film opens in a room straight out of the 1950s and it’s filled with colour, as we watch a small tv that begins its black and white broadcast. It’s a program that has opening narration akin to The Twilight Zone, or Outer Limits or any science fiction based anthology show from the same time period. The program was called Paradox Theatre, and tonight’s episode was The Vast of Night. Using this as a framing device set up the film perfectly and told me exactly what type of film I was about to watch, but it didn’t tell me it would become my favourite movie of the festival.
For a long time growing up, horror films were not for me. I would run from the room as my uncle would try and force me to watch one, and then out of the blue, that all changed and I ate up as much as horror as I can get my hands on. So halfway through The Vigil, a scare happened that made me question myself why I do this to myself, time after time.
While in line for this film, someone approached me and asked about the film. About why I decided to buy a ticket for this film that has no trailer and knows very little about it. Outside of the fact that it’s something exciting and fun to do as many films for a festival as possible, but to me it boiled down to three things, H.P. Lovecraft, Nicolas Cage, and that single still. It is gorgeous and otherworldly and exciting enough to want me to be brought into this other world.