The Veil (2016)
directed by Phil Joanou
written by Robert Ben Garant
starring: Jessica Alba, Lily Rabe, Aleksa Palladino, Reid Scott, Thomas Jane
I found this film interesting and upon keeping my interest it escalated the suspense into a creepy paranormal thriller. Twenty-Five years ago, a cult called Heavens Veil committed a mass suicide under the direction of its leader, Jim Jacobs. Now, all these years later, a documentary film crew meet with the only surviving member of the cult, a small girl at the time, now a woman, to return to the camp where it all happened.
From viewing old news footage, the documentary director, Maggie (Jessica Alba), knows the cult camp had many cameras recording everything that happened on the grounds. She’s hoping that Sarah (Lily Rabe), will regain some memories and help lead the film crew to the collection of surveillance tapes. However, when the film crew sets camp at the compound, more than memories return and they are thrust into a world of paranormal horrors. Thomas Jane plays an excellent part as Jim Jacobs, the cult leader that believes his people can rise form the dead. You won’t even recognize him in this part. I have to tell you, the more he speaks in this film, the more I believe him…and that’s what makes cults scary.
The only real drawback of the film is, why would the FBI leave all this reel footage and video at the compound? It wasn’t hard to find. It’s a big pill to swallow, but if you can see past that aspect, it’s a good flick. In the end this is actually more interesting than scary. What would you call that type of film? It feels inspired by the People’s Temple/ Jonestown suicide cult of the 1970s (with leader Jim Jones) and a little of the Heaven’s Gate cult of the 90’s.
A well-written, smart, psychological and paranormal thriller that works on many levels.
I give it 3.5 creepy cult leader conspiracies out of 5 on the dystopian commune killers scale.
The Veil Trailer:
Trivia: If this feels like a found footage film that is because it was originally intended to be an FF film. The script was later changed to a standard film because of the overabundance of FF films on the market.
Jonestown and Jim Jones:
parlor of horror – movie review