Directed by: Gareth Evans
Written by: Gareth Evans
Starring: Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, Kristine Froseth, Lucy Boynton and Bill Milner
Film Review by: Rachel Pullen
Apostle (2018) Netflix Film Review
When I was given free rein to choose some Netflix horror flicks to review for the upcoming Halloween season for UK Film Review, firstly I thought…you fools! Never give me free rein, who knows where I will end up…Devon maybe? And secondly, an excuse to trawl through all the piles of garbage Netflix often present us with on the #horror front? I’m in.
It’s no secret that the UK Netflix is lacking in the scares department, memes abound, begging them to give us what the U.S version has, but no, we are to live like peasants, eating the scraps thrown to us by our American overlords. They have Pet Cemetery and all the old Friday the 13th movies for god’s sake…what have we got? Twilights? Get in the bin?
I was not hopeful, to say the least, but as I sat there aimlessly scrolling thought the sea of ‘’Netflix Originals’’ I came across a screenshot of little old Michael Sheen…with a beard.
He looked sexy and hot dad like - grounds enough to watch the movie I thought, but I was not prepared, for I had begun a journey through time, and space, and trees and such, a journey into a world where you think it’s The Wicker Man (1973) but then someone drills a hole into a kid’s brain…I was watching Apostle.
Apostle is the tale of Thomas, a young man who heads off to an island where he believes his sister is being held for ransom at the hands of an evil cult. He does not have the money, so we can only assume he is going to just go in guns blazing in his rescue attempt…just minus a gun.
He poses as a convert for the cult, and it is not long before he realises all is not what it seems here, for his sister was held for ransom as the town are losing money and without that, they can’t buy animals to use for their blood sacrifices, the ones they believe keep the island fertile…are we keeping up? I hope so, let’s crack on.
Is the island fertile? Do they use blood as some kind of Miracle-Gro on the crops? You fools, that would be almost too logical, the answer is simple; they have a strange witch lady in a cabin on the fringes of town that they feed blood into and she makes flowers and shiz appear, and a topless man soaked in blood who has a beehive for a face keeps guard, although he seems to not want to be there, but is there, but why? No one knows….it’s irrelevant at this point, just remember bee hive man…witch flower lady, blood and we can move on.
The film descends into a power struggle between the town’s leaders, i.e the two blokes who captured the witch lady, whilst Thomas is still wandering around trying to find his sister…don’t forget that bit, that’s still a thing. He meets witch lady, they hang out and then a fire happens and a bunch of people run away, overall it’s a very stressful time for all the village folk it would seem.
Watching Apostle felt like a weird fever dream, at first I thought it was just another Wicker Man rip off, then some people were doing it in a boat and the girl’s father finds out and drilled a hole in the boy’s head as punishment, and before I knew it there was a witch in a shed with a beehive-faced man, being fed blood to keep a town alive.
And for all my cynical ramblings, I’m not mad at it.
Apostle has a charming confidence, it bulldozes through points where logic is just absent, where you can’t make sense of what will happen next, but because of its consistency to the madness you kind of get on board…witch lady in shed…sure, makes sense, what’s next? And for that I take my hat off, if there were any kind of attempt to make things seem relatable or believable, the whole thing would have felt cheesy.
So, are you bored with your real life? Want to be taken off to a mystical new land of brain drilling and blood sacrifices? Of course you do! So, snuggle up on your bean bag or pull out sofabed with your loved ones and strap in for what can only be described as a rollercoaster of madness in itchy fabrics…because Apostle is the period piece of horror you won’t ever forget.