Writer: Robert Ben Garant (Screenplay)
Starring: Jessica Alba, Lily Rabe, Thomas Jane, Aleksa Pallandino, Shannon Woodward, Reid Scott
Plot: Twenty-five years after members of a religious cult committed mass suicide, the lone survivor returns to the scene of the tragedy with a documentary crew in tow.
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Nice Mystery
Story: The Veil starts as we learn about Jim Jacobs (Jane) and his religious cult that committed mass suicide at a place known as ‘The Veil’ only one person survived, a young girl. 25-years-later a documentary film maker Maggie Price (Alba) leads a team with the grown-up survivor Sarah (Rabe) back to ‘The Veil’ to learn what happened and why Sarah was spared.
Being back gives Sarah a few answers as she leads the team around the camp discovering a secret stash of videos which show what Jim Jacobs was up to in cult and not everything is what they were expecting as they start to find themselves haunted by the spirits of the cult.
Thoughts on The Veil
Characters – Jim Jacobs is the leader of the cult, he wants to prove the spirit can be separated from the body, did he die in the mass suicide or did he achieve his goal with the other members of the cult. Maggie the lead in the documentary team, she introduces the team and arranges for Sarah to return, she does also have a connection to what happened during the mass suicide. Sarah is the lone survivor from the suicide, she returns as a grown up even if she does seem to be happy to be back to learn the truth.
Performances – Thomas Jane is the highlight of this movie, his performance is filled with all the crazy needed for role. Jessica Alba on the other side of the coin is average to poor throughout, this role could have been played by anyone to a higher level. Lily Rabe does continue to make herself feel like she should be in horror films at all times.
Story – The story follows the documentary team looking at new evidence which could explain what was happening on the site of a mass suicide. The idea of learning what happened through a mix of tapes which sadly don’t feel like found footage which is the biggest problem. The continuing idea works but the forced horror is the stumbling block here. The story does also have flaws including why didn’t the police investigate the property to find the tapes, I mean come on there was a mass suicide surely raiding every possible location is important in an investigation.
Horror/Mystery – The horror does feel forced for the most part and once we see the final scene feels almost unnecessary, this could easily have just stuck to the mystery thriller side of things and kept us on edge wondering where things will go next.
Settings – The whole film is set on the Veil, it shows a place that has had mass suicides would be haunting to be around as well as have secrets people might have missed.
Special Effects – The effects for the ‘found footage’ are way too high of a quality, this is mostly down to one moment feeling like it has the grainy effect but the next we are thrown into that time. The ghost activity is fine but nothing overly impressive.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – I want to put a couple here, first why did the police not investigate the surrounding area? Why is Jessica Alba a lead actress? The horror is mostly plain old jump scares.
Final Thoughts – This is a by the book horror mystery thriller which would have hit higher levels if it had remained just a mystery thriller without the pointless jump scares that miss most times. We also have a forgettable supporting crew in the documentary team.
Overall: Try but don’t buy in.