Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the family drama “Minari” (Premium digital and on-demand), the supernatural thriller “The Vigil” (Select theatres and VOD), the high school crime story “The Sinners” (VOD) and the courtroom drama “The Last Vermeer” (VOD).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the family drama “Minari” (Premium digital and on-demand), the supernatural thriller “The Vigil” (Select theatres and VOD), the high school crime story “The Sinners” (VOD) and the courtroom drama “The Last Vermeer” (VOD).
“The Vigil,” the first film from novelist-turned-director Keith Thomas and now available on VOD, is low fi movie with high fi horror.
When we first meet Yakov (Dave Davis) he is at a support group for Orthodox Jews adapting to life outside of Brooklyn, New York’s Hasidic community. Still adjusting to his new life, he’s unemployed, struggling to make ends meet. When his friend Reb Shulem (Menashe Lustig) approaches him with the offer of a job, he has no choice but to accept. For one night he will act as a Shomer, a guardian in the Jewish tradition, and watch over the dead body of Holocaust survivor Mr. Litvak (Ronald Cohen) until the time of burial.
Arriving at the house for the overnight stay, he’s greeted by Mrs. Litvak (Lynn Cohen) who warns him to leave. After Reb explains that she is suffering from Alzheimer’s, Yakov begins his solemn duty, watching over the shrouded Mr. Litvak.
Soon, as lights begin to flicker Yakov thinks he sees something scurry across the floor. But the true terror awaits as he uncovers a video detailing the ancient demon, the Mazzik, that attached itself to Mr. Litvak when he left Buchenwald.
“The Vigil” is a horror film that trades in the supernatural as much as the psychological. The shocks are born from director Thomas’s effective use of jump scares and things that go bump in the night, but the real terror here is intangible.
It is the reliving of memories, as Mr. Litvak says in the video, “the looking backwards” at the anti-Semitic horrors that shaped all their lives. We learn of the fate of Mrs. Livak’s father in the Kiev pogroms of 1919, Mr. Livak’s treatment at the hands of the Nazi’s and the recent violence that prompted Yakov to leave his faith. They are, as Mrs. Litvak says, “broken by memories,” the inescapable weight that they carry.
“The Vigil” brings the horror out of the corners of the mind, and just possibly offers an avenue for Yakov’s catharsis and return to his faith, but not before presenting a deeply unsettling story.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch during the pandemic including “Dads,” a new doc directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, just in time for Father’s Day, the new Kevin Bacon thriller “You Should Have Left” and the music documentary series “Laurel Canyon.”
Richard and “CP24 Breakfast” host Bill Coulter have a look at some special streaming opportunities and television shows to help fill the hours during the pandemic, including “The Muppets take Manhattan,” streaming for free on ctv.ca, the latest Stay at Home Cinema, the riveting drama “I May Destroy You” on HBO, the documentary “Ali & Cavett: The tale of the Tapes” on HBO and Kevin Bacon’s latest thriller “You Should Have Left,” now on VOD.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the new Kevin Bacon psychological thriller “You Should Have Left,” the Heather Graham family drama “The Rest of Us,” the “Showgirls” rethink “You Don’t Nomi” and “Mr. Jones,” the true-life story of one journalist’s journey to tell the truth.
Richard Zooms with “You Should Have Left” star Kevin Bacon. They talk about the movie’s portrayal of psychological drama, what dreams really mean and why the movie is more timely now than when they filmed it. Then Richard asks the “Footloose” star about Ontario’s recent “no dancing, no singing” on patios rule.
YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT SYNOPSIS: What should have been a distraction free vacation at a remote house in Wales for husband and wife Theo (Bacon) and Susanna Conroy (Amanda Seyfried) and daughter Ella (Avery Tiiu Essex), turns out to be anything but when their “simple sanctuary” morphs into something sinister.
What should have been a distraction free vacation at a remote house in Wales for husband and wife Theo (Kevin Bacon) and Susanna Conroy (Amanda Seyfried) and daughter Ella (Avery Tiiu Essex), turns out to be anything but when their “simple sanctuary” morphs into something sinister.
Susanna is a busy actor; Theo is a rich banker starting a new life and family after his first wife died under mysterious circumstances. Feeling the need for quality time, they jet off to Wales to spend a week in the country. The rental house is even more beautiful than the on-line pictures. “It’s bigger on the inside than outside,” Theo marvels as they walk into the majestic foyer. There’s no cell service and the place is stark, stripped of all the owner’s personal touches, but Ella’s bedroom has a bed “the size of Connecticut” and all seems well.
Soon, doors open by themselves and Theo discovers a hallway that appears to be a place where time stands still. Then, the strange dreams begin. Before long Theo’s nightmares spill over into his waking hours as reality and dreamland become harder and harder to differentiate. Tensions flare, and after a fight Susanna leaves to cool off, leaving Theo and Ella in the house alone overnight.
It’s then that things get really weird. The house seems to adhere to the wonky laws of physics as written by M.C. Escher. One room is five feet longer in the inside than the outside and the home’s long hallways are interconnected in ways designed to entrap and confound anyone unfortunate to find themselves stuck in their seemingly endless maze.
As Theo tries to keep Ella safe, he finds an ominous note scrawled in his diary. “You should have left,” it says in large, sloppy letters. “Now it’s too late.” What’s going on? Is he trapped in a haunted multiverse? Is the house the course of his torment or are these phenomena a product of an unhealthy mind?
“You Should Have Left” is heavy on atmosphere but light on actual raise-the-hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck scares. There is the odd jump scare moment but the movie is mainly geared toward psychological drama, the primal fear for the safety of a child or losing one’s sanity. Theo spends a great deal of time wandering the house, opening the doors that sometimes lead somewhere unexpected, sometimes lead him right back to where he started. It’s a clever way to represent the various parts of his personality and the psychological journey he is on. “The right ones always find the house,” says a townsperson. “Or is it the reverse? does the house find them?”
Director David Koepp keeps the special effects to a minimum, relying instead on the weight of Theo’s psychological crisis to carry the story. It’s like “The Shining” without a showstopping “Here’s Johnny” scene. The weird and wild stuff is mostly done with camera tricks and inventive direction, giving the haunted house scenes an organic, slightly more realistic feel.
“You Should Have Left” is part psychological thriller, part morality tale. At just ninety minutes it feels a hair long and a late stage dramatic point between Susanna and Theo feels forced but Bacon keeps the portrait of a man trying to understand what is happening around him intriguing.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the kid’s action movie “My Spy,” the divorce drama “Hope Gap” and the political polarization of “The Hunt.”