14 August 2020 | CinemaSerf
Atmospheric take on Jewish occult mysticism.
I will admit to feeling just a little uneasy as I walked back to the car after watching this debut from Keith Thomas at 11pm. Dave Davis is "Yakov" who is a bit down on his luck, on some pretty heavy medication, and struggling to get back on track after a fairly traumatic event from his past. A rabbi asks him if will act as a "Shomer" - a person who sits with the deceased to recite prayers and generally ward off any evil before burial. As he watches over the body, the usual spooky things start to happen - lights flicker; things go bump etc; and on that score it's all a pretty routine horror flick; but as his fears start to build, he begins to confront his own demons as much as he must the predatory "Mazzik" that feeds from his fears. Save for a few short appearances from the widow - Lynn Cohen, it's essentially a single-hander and Davis does an OK job - aided by the drearily-lit room and some suitably tense - if frequently over-the-top musical accompaniment. It's not exactly scary - but it's still a decent effort based on a source of legend rarely exploited by Hollywood. Best seen late at night when it's dark outside, I'd say...