Apostle (2018), 4****
Dir Gareth Evans
Running Time: 130 minutes
Review: Matthew Alicoon, Tuesday 2nd June 2020
Apostle takes place in 1905 and it follows the story of Thomas Richardson (portrayed by Dan Stevens) on a mission to save his sister from an evil cult on a remote island.
It is incredibly baffling yet brilliant that Gareth Evans did something so different after his work on The Raid franchise. A very dark and intense film which was very well written, as the narrative started to descend into chaos at the right moment in the film. However the pacing at the start was quite slow, as the story mainly started to get more intriguing in the second half of the film.
Cinematographer Matt Flannery also allowed the construction of the shots to really make the audiences feel that they are on the edge of their seats, as some of the shots particularly towards to the end are some of the most horrifying shots in any horror film.
Also, Apostle doesn’t follow the stereotypical tropes of horror films as it doesn’t rely on jump scares to help drive the narrative. Dan Stevens really shines in the lead role, as well as being accompanied by some great supporting performances: Michael Sheen was actually quite terrifying as the leader of the cult and the film really demonstrates his versatility. Also, despite a limited screen time Elen Rhys gives a really good silent performance in the film, as her facial expressions really said a lot in certain moments.
A really great character driven horror movie with a sustained amount of tension throughout most of the film accompanied by stunning cinematography and Gareth Evans has created a terrific standalone horror film.
Dan Stevens as Thomas Richardson
Michael Sheen as Malcolm Howe
Mark Lewis Jones as Quinn
Lucy Boynton as Lucy Howe
Paul Higgins as Frank
Elen Rhys as Jennifer Richardson