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The horror film and religion go hand in hand - after all, aren’t both, at their foundation, about overcoming evil? In the new Blumhouse nerve-jangler THE VIGIL, which has been described as “The Conjuring with an Orthodox Jewish twist”, religion is the crux of the plot: set over the course of a long, dark night in Brooklyn’s Hassidic “Boro” Park neighborhood, Yakov, who has lost his faith, is approached by a rabbi to be a ‘shomer’ - to watch over a body before the funeral. Shortly after arriving at the dilapidated house for his vigil, Yakov realizes that something is very, very wrong.

Here are some of the scariest horror films that, along with The Vigil, mix religion and frights to devastating effect. The ‘say your prayers’ moments give you an idea of when to put the popcorn to one side and drop to your knees in supplication...


Ari Aster’s follow-up to his terrifying Hereditary is an equally unsettling tale, about a group of American anthropology students visiting a secluded Swedish village, to enjoy the traditional mid-summer festival. To begin with, the place seems blissful and benign, but the group soon realise that the villagers’ pagan beliefs are somewhat extreme, and appear to involve sacrifice to appease their god.

Say your prayers moment: The eager students are taken to witness an ancient ceremony at a cliff’s edge, involving a pair of village elders. It is not what they expect.