The Veil | Supernatural body-swap hokum inspired by 1978's notorious Jonestown Massacre

The Veil Thomas Jane Jessica Alba Lily Rabe
(Image credit: © Universal Studios)

The Veil Thomas Jane Jessica Alba Lily Rabe

Twenty-five years after a charismatic cult leader (Thomas Jane) spurred his followers into committing mass suicide with the promise of eternal life, the sole survivor (Lily Rabe) returns to the scene, accompanied by a zealous documentary filmmaker (Jessica Alba) and her implausibly large crew. Taking inspiration from the notorious 1978 Jonestown Massacre (opens in new tab), horror thriller The Veil cooks up some supernatural body-swap hokum out of its set-up, but the results are distinctly tepid.

That said, director Phil Joanou (probably best known for U2 music documentary Rattle and Hum (opens in new tab)) does give the story’s 1980s flashback scenes an eerily washed-out look, while Jane goes appropriately over the top as the psychotic guru. But when the bodies start to drop, the killings feel all too rote.

Certificate 15. Runtime 90 mins. Director Phil Joanou

The Veil debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on Thursday 24 August. Available on DVD from Universal Pictures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOUHGzoP0fw

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.