“The Witch” by Gareth Evans was understated. It was more a tale about family response to an inhuman religion tearing fathers and families against their daughters. This is what produced the Salem witch trials. Here we see another religious based horror in that same pattern but this time it’s an avowed cult and NOTHING here is understated.

Apostle (2018)
2h 10min | Horror , Mystery , Thriller | 12 October 2018 (USA)
In 1905, a drifter on a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister tangles with a sinister religious cult on an isolated island.
Director: Gareth Evans
Writer: Gareth Evans
Stars: Dan Stevens, Kristine Froseth, Lucy Boynton

Could Gareth Evans, our writer/director here be getting a style and theme? I wonder how many more the public will welcome? Maybe many. Period pieces thrive on Netflix and all streaming networks. Horror has a big draw as well. This isn’t a jump-scare variety though. This is the kind where you squirm at the thought of “what-if?”

Lucy Boynton shines once again in this, as she has in everything she’s done. I’ll never forget the first time she turned heads in “Sing Street.” Dan Stevens, from so many things but most memorable on a grand scale as “Beast” in “The Beauty and the Beast.” There are other stars in this as well. It has become just as prestigious I think to be in Netflix film as to be in feature film of the cinema.

I liked the period piece part of it. The costumes and building props were remarkable, making me feel as if I were transported back in time. I must say however that a similar and more effective message about cults has already been said in “The Village.” Look it up, it’s one of my all-time favorite psychological horrors. The best thing about it? The realism and presentation to show it COULD actually happen. That is missing in “Apostle.”

Comparing this to that, I felt this dragged on a bit long before moving into its complete BONKERS stage of the plot. It’s a fun ride from then on out but charm flies out the window. 7/10.

Author: Damien Riley

I post film reviews both written & audio. I'm a writer & podcaster, BA/MA English from Cal State Fullerton. Based in: Victorville, CA, USA My film review site is rileyonfilm.com

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