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Comments 1 - 5 of 5

lachyas's avatar


Has more in common with Evans' V/H/S short than The Raid films, which will disappoint a lot of people right off the bat, and owes a little too much to The Wicker Man, but there's enough atmosphere, good looks, and confronting moments of gore to make this worth a watch.
4 years 10 months ago
Siskoid's avatar


After the Raid movies, I wouldn't have expected Gareth Evans to make a slow-burn horror film (though he did contribute to one of the V/H/S anthologies), but that's what Apostle is. A perpetually grumpy-faced Dave Stevens infiltrates an island-based cult to rescue his abducted sister, rails against religion generally, and finds there may actually be something supernatural going on. Then turns get violent and it's a bit of a slaughter show, not quite on par with what's been promised. The way I describe Stevens' performance is pretty much how I see the whole film, as one-note, with deviations either jarring or silly (as when Evans uses some of his Raid kinetics for a few seconds here or there). The participation of interesting actors (like Michael Sheen as the island prophet, and Sing Street's Lucy Boynton has his daughter) enlivens what is essentially an undercover agent story, but the third act feels like the writer-director got bored with his take on Wicker Man and had to turn it into an action movie.
1 year 10 months ago
pegs404's avatar


solid 6/10 from me — not awful, but not particularly stellar, either. the lengthy runtime could have been used to flesh the characters out more effectively or to gradually grow the viewer's unease, but instead, it just comes across as excessive and somewhat like a useless lead-up to the real action.
my chief complaint is how little emotional investment i felt for the characters — ex. we learn right off the bat that the protagonist is an addict, but that gets scrapped within the first hour in exchange for a single war-trauma flashback scene... — and how sudden some of the developments arrived.
however, with a few "wtf?" moments set aside (spoiler), there were some gory moments worth watching, and i did like the ending.
as far as Netflix originals go, this one is pretty standard fare.
2 years 3 months ago
Falkhorn's avatar


Besides having a run time of over 2 hours the movie makes no effort to present their characters back stories. I found that I cared little to nothing for the protagonists nor the village itself.

Again, another netflix movie that crams in too much stuff and doesn't go deep into none of its themes, leaving only a shallow puddle of disappointment, long and boring disappointment.
4 years 8 months ago
ikkegoemikke's avatar


These people…
they’re blasphemers…
a cult, a disease.
Be careful. Be smart.
Bring her home.


The first thing that came to my mind while watching “Apostle“, was the movie “The Witch“. It takes place in the same time period. Here, too, an old-fashioned sounding English is spoken. And it’s also a religion-tinted theme. The biggest difference with “The Witch” is that I thought that one was rather boring and not a horror at all. It was more a historical costume drama. “Apostle” is, on the other hand, simply sublime. A mysterious film about religious madness. Not only content wise but also visually it all looks perfect And the facet of horror was indeed present. And no, not only because of the bloody and gore scenes. There’s only one thing that puzzled me afterward. What was it that the people of Erisden worshiped?

It all starts when Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) is asked by his father to rescue his sister Jennifer (Elen Rhys) from the grasp of an obscure sect. She’s kidnapped. And a large ransom is demanded. Thomas himself was once a sort of missionary spreading God’s word in the land of the rising sun. His experiences there, however, made sure that he got an aversion to everything that has to do with religion. Without further delay, he takes on the assignment to save his sister from the gang of fanatics and bring her back home.

The running time of “Apostle” is 2 hours. Perhaps this is too much of a good thing for a horror with religion as a central topic. But believe me. Those two hours are over before you know it. Every sense of time is absent when viewing this captivating film. And this because of the excellent way of build up. The first hour you’ll be carried away in the enigmatic life on the island of Erisden. Beautiful images are interspersed with scenes from the daily life of this primitive living commune. Soon it’s clear that this sect developed a peculiar kind of faith with their own rituals (and despotic rules). Just as in any religion, a limited number of individuals rule and decide how to behave in this community. They are also the only ones who know what’s going on there.

The reason why they abducted the daughter of a rich man is that their provisions are drastically reduced due to bad harvests and they are gradually heading towards a shortage of food. Prophet Malcolm (Michael Sheen) tries to turn the tide in a certain way but finally, he has to realize that he’s helplessly watching how his patiently built community gradually crumbles. Despite the sometimes rather barbaric punishments that have been introduced to keep the community under control, Malcolm seems to be a peaceful man who’s worried about the welfare of the islanders. More peaceful than some of his confidants who show a certain hunger for power and who, if the opportunity presents itself, try to claim leadership without delay.

The characters Thomas and Malcolm are played in a brilliant way by Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen. Malcolm isn’t really a cruel despot, though he’s the driving force behind the terrible process of cleansing. And even though Thomas has to be careful while tracking down his sister, he immediately disobeys imposed rules and expresses his doubts about Malcolm towards the prophet’s daughter. Michael Sheen (who played a more funny role in “Passengers” as the robotic butler Arthur) and Dan Stevens were perfectly cast. I especially liked Dan Stevens (“Kill Switch“, “The Ticket” and “Beauty and the Beast“). Even though his grim and furious look started to get boring at a certain moment. There are also a few other characters that are worth mentioning. First, there are Bill Milner and Kristine Froseth who take care of the idyllic part. Then there’s Lucy Boynton as Andrea, the daughter of the Prophet. It’s not the most important role, but her appearance is in sharp contrast with the rest of the film. A dazzling beauty with a refreshing look. She looks like a fragile porcelain doll. And finally Mark Lewis Jones as Quinn, co-founder of this sect and in hindsight also a fanatic. Each and every one was an interesting character.

“Apostle” is certainly not for sensitive viewers. Not that it ‘s really frightening (except maybe for the sewer scene). But there are some distasteful scenes that can be quite shocking for some. Especially in the second part of the film. It’s filled with sadistic torture practices where the accompanying sounds cause chills. This in contrast to the first part that you can call atmospheric. It’s difficult to label this movie with a specific film genre. But do you like a bit of suspense? A tad of horror? And pagan religious scenes? Well then, this folk-horror movie is definitely your thing. At least one of the better Netflix productions so far.

More reviews here
4 years 10 months ago
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