Watch The Veil
- 1 hr 33 min
In the 2016 horror film The Veil, directed by Phil Joanou, Jessica Alba plays Maggie Price who is a documentary filmmaker. She is making a film about the cult called Heaven's Veil, which was involved in a mass suicide thirty years ago. Thomas Jane plays Jim Jacobs, the only surviving member of the cult who went into hiding after the tragedy. Maggie and her crew are invited to interview Jim Jacobs, and they travel to the remote compound in California where the Heaven's Veil cult lived. Jim, who has changed his name to Father, agrees to be interviewed by Maggie on the condition that she brings an audience with her as he seeks to convert them into his new cult. As soon as Maggie and her crew arrive, strange events start to occur. The crew members begin to experience terrifying hallucinations that are related to their past traumas. They also start to see ghosts of people who died in the mass suicide. Maggie herself feels that someone or something is following her. As Maggie continues to interview Father, she uncovers his sinister plan to conduct another mass suicide with his new followers. While she attempts to convince the others to leave, the crew unexpectedly discovers a portal to another dimension which leads to the afterlife. They venture through the veil and enter an even more terrifying world. One of the standout performances in The Veil is from Lily Rabe who plays Sarah Hope, the daughter of the cult's leader. Lily conveys the character's desperation and resilience tremendously well. As the past resurfaces, it is clear that Sarah has a lot of emotional baggage to deal with. The Veil can draw some comparisons to Jim Jones' Peoples Temple cult which committed mass suicide in Jonestown in 1978. The similarities between the two incidents aren't lost on Maggie, who questions why anyone would want to follow the same fate. The film's emotional impact is elevated by Maggie's struggle to come to terms with her own troubled past which parallels some of the themes of Jonestown and its aftermath. The cinematography in the film is well executed, and the use of dark lighting and eerie music enhance the already haunting atmosphere. The depiction of the afterlife realm is particularly unsettling, and it is easy to see why the film's overall tone is so bleak and oppressive. The Veil as a horror movie predominantly relies on a jump-scare style of horror, of which there are plenty, but it is the underlying threat of mass suicide and psychological manipulation that is truly disturbing. The film is an unforgiving and bleak tale of tragedy and terror that is worth checking out for fans of the horror genre or those looking for a thought-provoking tale.