Here’s One Bloody Good Reason Not to Join a Cult
Netflix has made many bad movies. There is no way around that. But they managed to learn lessons, albeit expensive, as a result. It seems that all this learning the hard way has been good because they start producing original films fascinating and downright awesome. The director's last director Gareth Evans Apostle falls squarely into this category and sees the famous director-actor leap forward, unhindered, in a very bloody horror.
The Apostle is centered on Thomas (Dan Stevens) who has a complex relationship with his father but an undying love for his sister. After discovering that she was kidnapped for ransom, he travels to a remote island that is home to a mysterious cult led by a "prophet" named Malcolm (Michael Sheen). They advocate freedom and equality, without money or shared work. But as for everything that seems too good to be true, this simple island existence also exists. And Thomas learns it too fast. While Thomas searches quickly, but cautiously, his sister, Malcolm and his companions find out that someone in their ranks is not what they claim to be and, unbeknownst to them, it's Thomas. This turns into a very dangerous game of cat and mouse and as the pursuit ends, things become bloody, tense and downright weird.
For all who saw The Raid Movie which are easily among the greatest action movies of the modern era, if it ever is, it is not surprising that Gareth Evans managed to make a breathtaking and captivating horror movie. And luckily, he managed to sneak in here too. That said, it's not for those who are put off by the sight of blood and violence. This thing becomes downright brutal and there are buckets of blood that go together with really painful but visually impressive images.
Not to say that The Apostle owes much to previous horror works, with The Wicker Man . ] I come to mind, but we just do not see that kind of thing every day. A visionary director would have had (it seems) a big budget to create an endless, uncompromising, strange and endless horror drama. The results speak for themselves and that is the kind of thing that is best explored without knowing too much. Although some industry players consider Netflix to be the enemy in some ways, it is hard to imagine that this movie is done this way. budget anywhere else. For projects like this, they are a blessing. It's just unfortunate that more people are not lucky enough to see him in a theater, like those at the Fantastic Fest.
This film undoubtedly plays on several layers of fear. The fear of oppression on the part of power and the ability of this power to corrupt. And this power inevitably corrupts at all levels. There is also the fear of religious extremism. This film does not necessarily say that organized religion, on the whole, is bad, but it shows how dangerous religious extremism can be. Apostle can certainly be considered a cynical look at Christianity. But the surface level is terrifying, with no nuance that can be applied to today's world. The sects are scary and it's one of the scariest ever imagined for the cinema. We often think that sects are a group of fools who believe in nonsense. This film takes an interesting approach: in the best case, what about reality? It's a literally bloody lesson to never join a cult.
One of the best things about this original Netflix future, aside from the magnificent visual feast that it's from the beginning to the end, is the showcase of up and down the raw actor talent. Dan Stevens, who has proven himself in the past in projects such as The Guest and Legion delivers a remarkable performance. He magnificently bears the extremely intense emotional weight of this film. As great as Stevens is, as is often the case, it's the bad guys (from your perspective) who steal the show. Michael Sheen is absolutely terrifying and captivating as Malcolm. It's a fleshy and layered role that Sheen plays to express perfection. His counterpart Quinn, starring Mark Lewis Jones, that fans of Star Wars may call "Fire on the base!" guy from The Last Jedi is just as terrifying. Quinn is a bewildering and abominable force of nature and Jones understands it. Lucy Boynton and Elen Rhys are also doing a lot of good work.
This story is played as a song of the Pixies or Nirvana, with a discreet verse that allows you to fall asleep in deafening chorus that sticks to your skin All this leads to a pure and weird chaos that it is difficult to explain or treat completely. At this last point, the result in Apostle is phenomenal and perfectly complements terror. Netflix may not have finished making bad movies, but they are certain to be able to make good movies now.