For Dan Stevens as Thomas Richardson, breaking into a KKK-like sect isn’t reckless. Not that the sect had kidnapped his sister and taken hostage for a ransom. However, Thomas is the next God of a new world. After his belief affirmed him, he guaranteed that none of this would affect him. Previously, he was a religious, after a terrible experience, religion was just opium to him. In this Gareth Evans‘ “Apostle”, this movie brings you down many more things about religious, brutal, bloody, terrifying, and everything more than Martin Scorsese’s “Silence”.
“The promise of the Divine is but an illusion.” the False Prophet said or known as Frank (Paul Higgins). In a remote isolated island, from the very beginning, something very odd appeared. It’s the scariest place it has ever been. Like Miles Upshur from “Outlast”, a journalist tries to investigate remote psychiatric hospitals. Even though he knows how his destiny ends, he just wants proof and material. On the other hand, unlike Thomas, and also the inhabitants of the island. Prayer is no longer answered for the False Prophet. Blood is the only thing they must be sacrificed.
Mysteries, horrors, and threads of plants, the suspense continues to increase regardless of the linear storyline. There is something under the wooden floor, waiting for drops of blood to fall down. Green plants suddenly wither, livestock was born in terrible conditions, and invisible rituals appear in front of the main character. For Thomas, he could only defend himself and expect a miracle to never be discovered by the sect. Expression glared, uneasy despite the fierce outside, he was just a human without a soul. He has no soul at all. Diving into the shelter, he doesn’t have anything and only has one to get out of the island.
Thomas is instant but doesn’t draw any sympathy whatsoever. He was reckless, did nothing but also showed no effort in his expression. Incidentally, but also a wolf in sheep’s costume, it turns out not only he has the same goal. There was no outcome, in a small village, he had difficulty remembering a house he considered suspicious. It’s just only one house but the False Prophet is so easy to find out too.
Fanatics and heresy, even though they aren’t, were one of the points why they cannot understand humans with each other. There is a feeling where you feel imprisoned in your disbelief and religion, in teaching, trust is useful in order to meet the needs of every individual. These needs are the rules, obligations, prohibitions, and other aspects of life. In “Apostle”, a religious sect or belief illustrates how humans are so desperate, not understanding the true beliefs of each of them. And Thomas’s mission, incidentally, wasn’t just saving his sister. He unconsciously became a savior of skepticism in him.
Gareth Evans, a Welsh director known for his works such as “The Raid: Redemption” and “The Raid 2“. But, this is not an action movie like which. Instead, if you want to find this as an action movie, then this is not for you. This is a horror movie, precisely, psychology. This is also a body horror movie. It’s like a combination of “There Will Be Blood” and “Silence”, also borrowing a little inspiration from “Resident Evil 5” (Chainsaw Majini). There is action, yet, in fact, this is Gareth Evans movie. There are many gore scenes, execution scenes, and torture scenes. The time you see this kind of sequence, you better cut-away on your seat than try to hard to hold.
Although this movie is about Thomas, the antagonist doesn’t seem to have anything to do with. While the performance is great, the motivation of both the religious sect and the False Prophet has nothing to do. In fact, until the end of the film, they are just idiots. “Apostle” shows a lot of brutality and disorder. And that’s what I like about this movie. The third act is like a roller coaster but it also puts aside a question, to be honest, the first act is very, very slow. Evans, as long as he has passion about this movie, build-up scene to scene.
“Apostle” creates an unsettling horror movie with a linear narrative structure but incoherent in terms of development. In fact, you don’t watch “The Raid” series but this is a horror movie. Regardless of which, Gareth Evans delivers a vision and theme on religion and belief. A rather taboo theme but very difficult to be polished in Hollywood. And this really works well I think. It’s a bloodshed movie if you say so, and a disturbing movie, if you will.
3.5 out of 5 stars.