Title Card
"Title Card," Lullaby, directed by John R. Leonetti, 2022, (Vertical Entertainment)

In “Lullaby,” Jewish faith is used to develop this horror film in ways you have likely not seen before.

Director(s) John R. Leonetti
Screenplay By Alex Greenfield, Ben Powell
Based On N/A
Date Released (Video On Demand) December 16, 2022
Genre(s) Fantasy, Horror, Religious
Duration 1 Hour and 29 Minutes
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Characters and Cast
John Ramon Rodriguez
Rachel Oona Chaplin
Lilith Kira Guloien
Vivian Liane Balaban
Rabbi Cohen Constantine Alexander Karzis
Eli Hudson Schnurr, Parker Schnurr

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Film Summary

It hasn’t been long since John and Rachel had their son Eli, and things are difficult as new parents. Rachel is continuing her work at her restaurant, John has a gallery opening, and Eli, like any baby, is fussy and crying. A new challenge neither are prepped to handle alone. So when they discover a Jewish lullaby book and singing a lullaby works, they finally have the peace needed to focus on their own lives, not just Eli’s. However, they don’t realize the sinister being they summoned, Lilith, nor why that book was included in things Rachel’s mother sent them.

Things To Note

Why Is “Lullaby” Rated Not Rated

  • Dialog: Minor cursing
  • Violence: Blood, depiction of violence against a baby, minor scuffles
  • Sexual Content: We see John and Rachel take a shower, but there is no explicit nudity. It is just implied
  • Miscellaneous: Depiction of a person with a mental illness

Collected Quote(s)

You don’t have the luxury of skepticism.
— Vivian

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

John

John (Ramon Rodriguez)
“John (Ramon Rodriguez),” Lullaby, directed by John R. Leonetti, 2022, (Vertical Entertainment)

John is a gallerist who, for love, converted to Judaism but may not be the most serious about it. Mainly since it wasn’t just for love but Rachel’s mom pressuring him.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Will Trent in the upcoming “Will Trent,” Ben Cruz in “The Affair,” and Bakuto in “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders.”

Rachel

Rachel (Oona Chaplin)
“Rachel (Oona Chaplin),” Lullaby, directed by John R. Leonetti, 2022, (Vertical Entertainment)

Rachel is a renowned chef, trying to keep her restaurant at the caliber she expects, after having a baby, who is struggling with her only support system being her husband, John.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Talisa Stark, aka Talisa Maegyr in “Game of Thrones,” Varang in the “Avatar” franchise, and Zilpha Geary in “Taboo.”

Lilith

Lilith (Kira Guloien)
“Lilith (Kira Guloien),” Lullaby, directed by John R. Leonetti, 2022, (Vertical Entertainment)

In this version of Lilith, she remains the first woman but is painted as a villain due to lying with wolves, once kicked out of Eden, and giving birth to demonic, mutant-looking beings, and her envy for Adam and Eve’s perfect children turning her into a baby snatcher.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: The Sheriff in the upcoming “Robyn Hood” series

Vivian

Vivian (Liane Balaban) and Eli (Hudson or Parker Schnurr)
“Vivian (Liane Balaban) and Eli (Hudson or Parker Schnurr),” Lullaby, directed by John R. Leonetti, 2022, (Vertical Entertainment)

Vivian is Rachel’s sister, the first victim of Lilith we meet, who was deeply traumatized after losing her son and husband due to Lilith.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Beth in “You Can Live Forever,” Amelia Richardson in “Supernatural,” and Natasha Petrovna in “Covert Affairs”

Rabbi Cohen

Rabbi Cohen (Constantine Alexander Karzis)
“Rabbi Cohen (Constantine Alexander Karzis),” Lullaby, directed by John R. Leonetti, 2022, (Vertical Entertainment)

While all other rabbis appear to not take Vivian, Rachel, or John seriously, Rabbi Cohen does. This is mainly because he isn’t like other rabbis considering his tattoos, a major faux pas, and demeanor.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Vlad The Impaler in “We Could Be Heroes”

Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Highlights

Using Jewish Faith To Develop A Horror Movie

For nearly every horror movie we’ve seen, usually Christian or Catholic faith, if there are religious themes, is put in play. So to have a different faith used, and it to be used throughout, which includes hearing and seeing Hebrew, learning their take on Lilith, and even having a radical rabbi like Rabbi Cohen, was a treat. It changed things up in a way that reminds you that Judaism truly isn’t just a faith but a culture within itself. Hence John had to convert rather than stay whatever he was formerly.

Feeling Bad For Lilith

It sucks that outside “Lilith and Eve,” Lilith is usually shown to be a woman scorned and vengeful, and most descriptions of her graze over the sin of her existence being that she didn’t submit to Adam. So when it comes to the take of the entity in “Lullaby,” it’s hard to not feel bad for her. She is a being kicked out of Eden simply for questioning Adam, whose ego couldn’t handle that, and forced out into the wilderness with the expectation to suffer.

Yet, she is demonized for seeking ways to survive. Be it laying with wolves or longing for what was denied to her. So as much as her stealing babies makes her appear to be a villain, similar to the would-be villain in “Barbarian,” there is enough done to understand she is a villain due to the actions of another. This doesn’t mean she is innocent, but she is simply the easiest person to point a finger at because going up the ladder would complicate who is really to blame.

The Jump Scares

If you honestly just care about the jump scares, then “Lullaby” has what you are looking for. There aren’t a lot, which is a good thing, but even if you are half-watching this and just pop your full attention occasionally, you will get disturbed every now and again.

On The Fence

It Sets Up A Sequel

Unfortunately, the film sets itself up for a sequel. Which, don’t get us wrong, if it looks more into Lilith and explores her history in ways most media doesn’t, that could be cool. Never mind, considering Rachel and her sister Vivian’s relationship, and what happens in the movie, there is more to explore. Especially when you consider how things end for Vivian. However, I wouldn’t say what is possible could be a compelling 90-minute film that won’t likely feel lesser than its predecessor.

Who Is This For?

Those who have long become tired of horror movies focusing so much on Christianity or Catholicism and want a take on the genre from other faiths, specifically Judaism.

Title Card
Lullaby (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
“Lullaby” succeeds in proclaiming that the horror genre doesn’t need to be held prisoner by the Christian and Catholic faiths, and other religions have just as many stories and means to make fighting against labeled demons entertaining.
Community Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights
The Jump Scares
Feeling Bad For Lilith
Using Jewish Faith To Develop A Horror Movie
Disputable
It Sets Up A Sequel
82

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