Signed up the 29/03/2017
Apostle is a 2018 supernatural horror film directed by Gareth Evans. The film’s cast includes Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, Mark Lewis Jones, Paul Higgins, Lucy Boynton, Bill Milner and Kristine Froseth. The film follows Thomas Richardson who in 1905 infiltrates a mysterious religious cult and follows them to an even more mysterious island in order to find his kidnapped sister.
Gareth delivers an exciting piece of cinema here as Apostle starts of as being an intense thriller and morphs into this blood drenched supernatural gore horror film. An exhilarating watch that I essentially found to be about the corrupting power of religion and how man has used (and still using) religion and human nature not only to destroy themselves but also Gia/mother nature, who in retaliation turns the earth against us.
This became even more evident for me with the way Evans used his camera, the tense thriller aspects are very steady in the frame and the shots draw you into this rabbit hole of mystery and you come out on the other side to find yourself in a different, and more chaotic reality with its shaky handhelds, low angles, birds eye view shots and whipping pans that engulf you in the horror. Evans even manages to sneak in his “The Raid” style of filming into some of the action sequences but less flashy and more refined.
The story is simple but what makes it captivating apart from the performances is the characters and how they speak to the modern day person seeking to find a higher power in almost anything, and here sure they do find a higher power but humans being humans they have corrupted that power, by introducing it to one of the most vile human aspects and that’s the need to spill blood. This spilling of blood makes the higher power blood hungry and eventually turns the earth against them because blood is not meant to be spilled on holy land, like the humans in our everyday lives, they have twist holy literature and have made it into a weapon of violence and chaos as seen here in the third act. We’re not meant to kill in the name of God, unless that God is like the God of War something (lol).
The film doesn’t only just focus on the main plot of the kidnapped sister but we’re also drawn into the subplot of the forbidden love, which is very important not only for the story but for us the audience because the film takes a very dark turn with how it closes off the subplot. The ending of the forbidden love is the darkest human moments in the film and the most heartbreaking and also extremely revealing into some of the characters psyche.
The film might not be for everyone and certainly not everyone will enjoy it but to those seeking a work of cinema that is tense and dreadful and leads you to fear religious cults this is for you, as you’ll get compelling performances, a good story that has blood, love and other cult related things and the ending is a chaotic madness.
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