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The story springs from the real-world headlines of religious cults and mass suicides. With Veil, it begins 30 years ago, when members of a religious cult known as Heaven's Veil take their own lives. The truth behind what really happened remains buried deep in the memory of the sole survivor, a five-year-old girl, who returns to the compound with a documentary crew as an adult. They soon discover something that is far more terrifying than anything they could have imagined.

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The Veil movie full length review - Excellent story

In the intro me meet some cult and how its leader Jim Jacobs leads all the disciples to commit suicide just as the FBI arrives. The group tapes all this. One little girl survives.

Now, years later, the girl is an adult and a reporter asks her to help on a project about this commune called Heaven's Veil. The reporter, Maggie, wants to take Sarah, back to the scene of the crime. So off they go with a huge TV crew of indistinct characters. And it's not long before they start bickering. But Maggie isn't some disinterested reporter. Her father was the lead FBI agent on the camp's raid.

Once they get there, Sarah has all sorts of flashbacks and as expected there is no cell phone signal. Sarah takes them past the camp to a remote cabin which was Jim's retreat. There they find cameras and tapes and Maggie wants to see them all.

They discover that Jim wasn't some power-crazed fool. This guy was something else. At some point the daughter of one his disciples was ill and hospitalized and the doctors offered no hope. He goes into a trance, touches the girl, and she recovers. At another occasion, he takes some medications to again reach trance and takes over a disciple's body momentarily. The third step is to take some cocktail of meds to nearly kill himself and receive an antidote right before his body dies. And with that successful experience he concludes that he can free the soul momentarily from the body to reach the next level. He wants all his disciples to experience this enlightenment. With that, the FBI raid takes on a different meaning altogether.

But by then our TV crew starts seeing and hearing things. They become possessed and start killing each other. It gets dark and things become unclear. Sarah who was raised by the entire commune learns who her parents are, and that also changes things.

The Veil has an excellent story, no doubt, based on the Jonestown massacre. It presents a fantastic fantasy alternative history if you will, of the events. What if Jim Jacobs was right? Of course here with the twist, it turns out he isn't entirely the villain. That part of The Veil is very compelling. It's the present with the obnoxious crew that's not particularly strong. Ghost stories are hard to pull off. Then there's the obligatory convention that days last minutes and nights last forever and it's dark and you can't see much of what's going on. The cult part of the movie shows that a horror story can be much creepier if told in daylight. What doesn't help either is that in the present, sound and effects are overwhelming, loud, and constant. Fortunately, it's not orchestrated music but digital, still, it's too much and gets distracting.

I wasn't expecting much from The Veil but was gladly surprised to find such a developed and smart script. This isn't your mediocre standard pointless horror. It also benefits from a standout performance by Thomas Jane.