The Raid’s Gareth Evans is back with Netflix’s Apostle (review)

Netflix’s Apostle is a film that we’ve been looking forward to since we found out it’s directed by Gareth Evans, the man responsible for giving action fans The Raid: Redemption and The Raid 2. Those films have raised the bar on action with gut-wrenching fight sequences and edge-of-your-seat car chases. With Apostle, Evans switches it up with a period horror thriller, so don’t expect a non-stop action-packed flick.

The film is set in 1905 and follows Thomas Richardson, played by Dan Stevens (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, FX’s Legion), a man on a mission to infiltrate a deadly cult on an isolated island in order to rescue his sister. The film’s pacing is slow, and that helps with building up the weird events that you’ll discover along the way. The cult is mysterious, and the film will explore the dark secrets on how the group is thriving on a remote island.

The cast is comprised of mainly Welsh and English actors, which is a big departure from casting Indonesian martial artists like in The Raid. Michael Sheen (Tron: Legacy) portrays Prophet Malcolm, the leader of the cult who is the mastermind behind the kidnapping of Thomas’ sister. Mark Lewis Jones (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) plays Quinn, Malcolm’s right-hand man who acts as the enforcer. And then there’s Lucy Boynton (Sing Street) as Andrea, a member of the cult who is oblivious to the evil lurking behind the scenes.

netflix apostle

Jones really shines as Quinn, and we were repulsed by the character throughout the film. Sheen’s Malcolm feels like a glorified version of his character in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. Stevens is a wonderful actor who really disappears into his roles. With Apostle, we get to see his character go through a lot of pain while still having moments of heroism.

With the cult performing heinous acts to allow their little village to survive, viewers will witness violent scenes including a person’s head being corkscrewed, throats being slit and more. Viewers will definitely gasp during these scenes, and that’s probably the closest thing to the shock factor as seen in the Raid films.

Evans accomplishes what he set out to do with a dark period film. With solid performances by the actors and a gripping tale filled with supernatural elements and a mysterious cult, audiences will be in for a wicked ride as they enter a dark world.

Score: 4/5 Atoms

Apostle premieres on Netflix Friday, October 12th.

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