The Veil (2016) – Movie Review

The Veil (2016) - pic 7

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 toThe-Veil poster 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 (2016) - pic 5

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

The Shrine (2010) – Movie review

the shrine pic 3

The Shrine (2010)

the-shrine-movie-poster-You know, I’ve read a couple of not-so-great reviews for this movie so was hesitant to watch it. But, as they say, one man’s garbage is another man’s gold, so here’s my review.

Carmen, a young reporter for a small newspaper, travels to a rural Polish village investigating the disappearance of an American hiker. Along with her underling, Sara, and boyfriend/photographer, Marcus, she encounters gruff townspeople who are hostile to outsiders and clergymen with strange dress and odd customs. Their somber expressions and suspicious looks sufficiently build the feeling of paranoia. The trio locate the smoky cloud hovering above the treetops as described in the final entry of the hiker’s journal. Moving towards the site they discover it is actually a dense fog in a permanent position in the woods. Entering the thick shroud will unleash a chain of events that bring them face to face with true evil.

The film starts out a bit slow and the acting somewhat stiff early on, but the actors seem to settle into their roles as the film The-Shrine-pic 2progresses. The plot, action, suspense and pacing just keep escalating as the movie continues. By the end I’m thinking to myself, this is a damn good horror flick. I was impressed with its plot twists and creepy climax. It is one of the better independent horror films I’ve seen in the past few years.

Marcus is played by Aaron Ashmore, who can now be seen in the FBI serial killer, crime drama, The Following on FOX. Composer, Ryan Shore received a Grammy Award for his score in this film. It was directed by Jon Knautz, (is that pronounced, Nuts? Awesome!) who also directed the comedy/horror, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. It is a Canadian film distributed through IFC Pictures. There’s not a lot of gore in the film, but there are some good suspenseful chase scenes as the reporters try desperately to escape the town. There are also some good creepy scenes, entertaining for fans of supernatural horror, movies about cults, and more traditional horror themes.