Just Been Watching…(109)

Apostle (2018)

***No spoilers***

I saw this on Netflix, but it was widely released.

A period drama, set in 1905. Filmed in some stunning locations in Wales, and with some Welsh actors leading the cast. But it isn’t about Wales, or the Welsh. In fact, it is about a fictional religious cult, living apart from society on a remote island.

(Yes I know, you are already thinking ‘The Wicker Man’. So was I)

Troubled ex-priest Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) is tasked with travelling to join a secret cult, in the hope of rescuing his sister. She has been trapped there by the cult members, and has managed to smuggle out a letter to their father. They are demanding a ransom, but Thomas has his suspicions that they will just take it, and not free the girl. After a difficult journey, he manages to join the community, and finds it is led by the self-styled prophet, Malcolm. (Michael Sheen) In return for work, everything is provided for the cult members, as long as they adhere strictly to the teachings of the leaders, and follow all the rules.

Thomas has no intention of doing so, and is soon off investigating on his own. He finds secret tunnels, suspicious basements, and with the help of a young man he befriends, he breaks in to discover some very dark secrets. There is also trouble with the three leaders of the cult, with one hoping to take control of the island from Malcolm, and prepared to do anything to get that power. As they hunt for the possible spy inside their community, things get out of control, and the tension begins to rise to the gory climax.

With no spoilers, thats about all I can divulge. But on the way, the film-makers throw everything at the viewer. Grisly murder, lots of gore, torture machines, a soupcon of cannibalism, a spooky human ‘Goddess’, and someone resembling ‘Leatherface’ from ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. In fact the film is so derivative, it not only borrows from ‘The Wicker man’, but almost any classic Hammer Horror film you could mention. Pretty girls in peril, men deciding to combat corruption, and above all, a heroic character who will face any danger to save anyone worth saving.

Yes, it is incredibly ‘retro’, and sometimes feels as if it was made in the early 1970s.

On the plus side, it has those stunning locations, good widescreen cinematography, a few decent shocks, and a solid cast of mainly British actors. The well-known face of Lucy Boynton is thrown in too, to give us someone nice to look at. But it’s not really scary enough to be called a horror film, and not really dramatic enough to be a historical drama. It ends up not really knowing what it is trying to be, but is always pretty good to look at.

Not great, by any means. But I quite enjoyed it.

29 thoughts on “Just Been Watching…(109)

  1. Completely agree with you on this one Pete! I saw this review appearing on my phone at work (but can’t really comment on my phone (butterfingers and all lol) so I waited till I got home) and was thrilled to see this one make an appearance. I wrote a post for this one a while back and I definitely enjoyed it a lot myself as well! The cinematography is brilliant for this one, and the acting too😊 This takes it just over the edge of a “average ” film so to speak 😊

    Liked by 2 people

          1. The link didn’t work, it says the page doesn’t exist, but no matter, I just googled it. ooh…I think my mum has this one on dvd. Thanks for the recommendation, will see if I can check that one out! 😊

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Haha..No problem, you can ask me anything😊 Raistlin is the name of my favorite book character. He is a mage in a fantasy novel that was written by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman, called Dragonlance Chronicles 😊 It’s a great novel, and there were many follow ups, most notably the Twins trilogy. It’s a terrific character and one that in some ways I could relate to quite a lot 😊

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. haha…while I love anime, I have way too many other hobbies as well😊😊 But, I guess that will become clear on monday when my first Raist’s collection post will come out 😊😊

                    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can happily miss this and miss nothing, Cindy. I am just catching up on some Netflix films, as I hardly use the service. Plus the hot weather is stopping me doing anything much outside. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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