8/10 For my final horror streaming review leading up to Halloween (although I have another coming post-Halloween), I decided to check out the Gareth Evans film, “Apostle”. While dozens and dozens of horror films have focused on cults to varying degrees of success, “Apostle” succeeds due to its well developed relationships between characters and adding in a supernatural twist on what could have been a straightforward, familiar story. Evans does a great job directing here as the film embraces the grisly, violence of its subject matter without holding anything back. The score is haunting and brings the appropriate level of unease to the viewer. The cast is strong with Michael Sheen being the standout for me and making the most of his screen time. Since the film takes place in 1905, the isolated island setting lacking any and all modern technology adds a level of fear and the production design and costume design expertly recreate the era appropriate setting. Despite coming in at just over two hours long, the pacing is well done so Evans doesn’t spoil any big twists too early, instead taking his time with establishing character motivation before slowly trickling out relevant information with the plot. The cinematography is strong as this film is filled with memorable imagery that stays with you long after the film ends. I enjoyed that the film didn’t get bogged down with having to explain every supernatural element or go too deep into the backstory of the cult. Those elements aren’t essential to the story and sometimes the less you know, the better since not knowing can be more terrifying than forced explanations and awkward exposition. As for what didn’t work, a subplot involving two young lovers had an extremely predictable outcome and if you take out some of the supernatural elements, the film does have a bit in common with older horror films revolving around cults. I wish the film’s antagonist would have had a little bit more development to him as well. Despite a few minor complaints, I loved that the ending was realistic and didn’t cop out, while still being satisfying after spending more than two hours with these characters. The film is flat out well made and shrouded in darkness to represent the dark subject matter that the film deals with. Luckily there is some heart to the film with a brother/sister relationship that gives you something to root for. If you are looking for a horror film to check out on Netflix as Halloween is nearly upon us, “Apostle” is an underrated gem that I hope more people can discover.

#TheWagesOfQuinn / #BeautyAndThePriest / #UnderworldAbsolution / #TooRichardsonForMyBlood / #LetMeGospel / #ForkRansomMoneyOut

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