Corruption, greed, envy, perversion, murder, all stand prominent in Netflix‘s feature film Apostle, from writer-director Gareth Evans (The Raid).
In this dark, twisted, supernatural tale Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) journeys to the island where a cult is holding his sister hostage, on a mission to bring her home. The prophet Malcolm, played by Michael Sheen, rules his followers with an iron fist and the congregation believes his every word, going so far as to give their blood as a sacrifice, which he uses to feed the god he and the other two founders have bound in chains, though the colony is unaware of her presence.
While Thomas secretly searches for his sister he stumbles across the truth behind the colony’s religion and it’s frightening. But what is more disturbing is how far the men that rule the island will go to keep their power and how quickly they turn on each other and their own families. The worst part of this is how it realistic it appears.
In life, people will do truly horrible things in the name of power and religion. As long as man has had organized religion they have been committing atrocities and as long as people have gathered there have been men with dreams of power. But that’s a conversation for another day.
At the heart of this story is a man searching for redemption and a determination to save his loved one from what could only be a tragic end.
Dan Stevens‘ character comes across as a tortured soul, complex, and a bit odd. In those moments where he is struggling to do what needs to be done, Stevens nails the fear and the panic so very well. When we finally learn about his past the character becomes even more sympathetic. To say he was convincing as Thomas is an understatement.
From the beginning, it was clear that Michael Sheen‘s Prophet Malcolm wanted the best for his congregation, even though he went to terrible lengths to try to provide it for them. You can’t help but feel bad for the character while at the same time finding his actions reprehensible. When it comes to the community’s co-founders, that’s another subject. While Frank (Paul Higgins) seems to be a reasonable man, Quinn (Mark Lewis Jones) is a brutal, heartless man with an unhealthy obsession with his own daughter (Kristine Froseth). Quinn is a perfect example of how evil a man can be when it comes to greed, hate, and politics. Every character in the Netflix original film is played by a truly fantastic cast.
The film’s story pulls you in and will have you hooked right up to the very last second. Writer-director Gareth Evans created a wonderful, suspenseful film that everyone should see. I only had one issue with the film, I would have liked to have learned more about the god in the film, but it doesn’t make the film any less interesting.
When it comes to gore, this film is full of it. The special effects were amazing and incredibly realistic, especially when it comes to the torture scenes where one man is turned into a shishkabob and another when a man loses his head.
Apostle is one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. It’s absolutely brilliant. It has everything, suspense, horror, drama, action, love. The only score I can give the film is 5 out of 5, though I’d give it a 6 if I could. Stop what you are doing and go watch it now on Netflix.