Review by Chuckie Snyder
Netflix has just added three new horror movies to their streaming site. All three of these films were produced by Blumhouse Productions. Blumhouse being the production company responsible for the hugely successful Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and the Sinister series. All three of these films are now on Netflix and Phil Joanou’s THE VEIL is the stand-out.
The Veil starts off documentary-style with cult leader Jim Jacobs (Thomas Jane) leading his congregation to mass suicide. Out of all the men, women, and children that died there is one lone survivor - a young girl named Sarah Hope (Jessica Alba). A media frenzy surrounds the girl where she utters the cryptic words to the camera, “Don’t worry, they aren’t dead. He will bring them back.” Cut to twenty years later and Sarah is grown-up, depressed, and looking for a way to get some closure to her troubled past. Enlisting a documentary film crew to go back to the suicide site, Sarah is desperate to find some answers.
Now, by no means does The Veil revolutionize the horror genre or really offer anything original or groundbreaking. But what it does offer is an intriguing story with two or three descent scares. The story surrounding the cult kept my interest and had me anticipating what would unfold. The first half here is on solid footing. However too many of the big reveals and twists towards the end of the film were extremely predictable and disappointing.
The acting? It's actually pretty good for a Netflix/direct to VOD release. Thomas Jane pulls off an extremely creepy and convincing turn as cult leader Jim Jacobs and Lily Rabe and Jessica Alba both avoid embarrasing themselves. I have always been a fan of Jessica Alba ever since her debut on Dark Angel and it is always nice to see her get work. I just wish she could attract better projects. She deserves better.
All and all I enjoyed watching THE VEIL enough to be a time-passer. This is hardly a great horror film that transcends the genre but it is an entertaining film mostly undone by too many flaws. If I wanted to get an extremely well-acted and well-written horror film on the subject of cult murders, I would much rather re-watch Ti West’s The Sacrament which is truly disturbing and brings a unique perspective to the Jim Jones/mass suicide cult plot. However if you keep your expectations a little low for some B-movie horror fun with a few scares then you could do worse than THE VEIL.