The Veil stars Jessica Alba as a documentary filmmaker who wants to find out what happened to the members of Heaven’s Vail who all supposedly committed suicide in a bid of devotion to their leader Jim Jacobs (Thomas Jane). In order to do this, Maggie Price (Alba) recruits the help of the only known survivor Sarah Hope (Lily Rabe). Clearly based on American cult leader Jim Jones, the film takes a supernatural turn rather than focusing on what would have been a billion times more unnerving and scary. The fact that Jim Jones managed to convince over 900 people to commit suicide is far more disturbing and unnerving. Unfortunately, director Phil Joanou takes the supernatural route, but despite that the film is enjoyable enough, the performances are good enough (Thomas Jane is in full scenery chewing mode) and the scares scary enough for The Veil to be a mostly enjoyable film
Mike Flanagan has quickly become one the most popular up and coming horror film directors on the circuit, so much so that later this year he will helm horror blockbuster Ouija 2, a film that’s very likely to become a mainstream hit. Flanagan's last film was Oculus, which smartly blended time in many different eras into one scene (there's a superb, somewhat similar scene in this one), his next film, Hush, went straight to Netflix, but that certainly doesn't diminish the film's quality.
Hush, a home invasion thriller about a deaf author fighting off an invader, is similar to the Audrey Hepburn film Wait Until Dark where a disabled victim (in Hepburn's case blindness) fights off her intruder(s). The film's protagnist's deafness increases her vulnerability, and the film is one that's powered by its somewhat unique property as Flanagan cleverly empathises the importance of sound in everyday life by emphasising every small sound and how it can contribute to our survival in our most desperate situation. Kate Siegel's performance is excellent as she carefully tows the line between resourceful yet vulnerable and her game of wits with her intruder really drives up the tension in this tense thriller where Secret Window meets The Strangers.
Evil killer dolls seem to be the latest fad in horror movies of late with Chucky getting a rebooted and Annabelle being featured in two movies, one of which was entirely about her. In The Boy, Greta (Lauren Cohan) is hired to look after a couple's son in England, but it turns out this son is a doll. Something strange is certainly happening and when things start to go bump in the night things get even stranger. Director William Brent Bell (the man behind the not so great The Devil Inside) forgoes writing duties (Stacey Menear takes up writing duties) and focuses only on directing his latest film. To say that The Boy is better than The Devil Inside doesn't really sing the film's praises, but The Boy is mostly a well made horror film (the handsome set and production design is noteworthy). However, the reliance on dream sequences and jump scares to induce scares feels incredibly cheap and the film's twist will be not be a surprise to anyone who has seen a recent horror film.