Apostle is a 2018 horror film distributed by Netflix. Written, directed and edited by Gareth Evans, this film stars Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast), Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody), Mark Lewis Jones (Chernobyl), and Michael Sheen (Prodigal Son).

Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) is a broken man desperate to find his sister, Jennifer (Elen Rhys from Vikings). This mission takes him to a mysterious island led by the preacher Malcolm Howe (Michael Sheen), who seems to have a loose grip on his people.

Apostle Promotional
Dan Stevens as Thomas Richardson

What I like

A dark and moody atmosphere is part of the course for horror, but Apostle somehow manages to give a unique feel to the familiar design. Perhaps this is done through the town’s ominous religion, but I struggle to definitively label what evokes memory. The special effects were at times rather impressive and always believable.

While the performances were strong overall, Mark Lewis Jones is terrifying as Quinn.

Mark Lewis Jones, Apostle
Mark Lewis Jones as Quinn

What I Dislike

We are told of Thomas Richardson’s connection with his sister but only shown it at the end. Jennifer is underdeveloped and feels like a MacGuffin. She is a character, but mostly in service to the plot. This is a disappointing element as Thomas clearly would go to the ends of the earth to find her, and this film isn’t averse to flashbacks.

Thomas, an ex-missionary, quickly reclaims faith that didn’t feel entirely justified. The cult itself seemed to lack a clear identity. First claiming a fatalist philosophy, this clearly cannot be the case considering the type of warship involved to sustain the island. This fatalism introduction seems mostly an opportunity for a shocking moment and quickly dropped after.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

Apostle has a great atmosphere but underutilizes some talent and falls short in some aspects of the plot. There are some genuinely unsettling moments and shocks without resorting to jump scares, but this isn’t a terrifying movie. No goosebumps, but lightly unnerving with nice visuals.
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

For more Film and Television click here.

About the Author

Zeth received his M.A in English with a focus in Creative Writing at CSU, Chico. As a human writer, he published in the 9th volume of Multicultural Echoes, served on the editorial board of Watershed Review, and is a horror reviewer for Haunted MTL. All agree he is a real-life human and not an octopus in human skin. Fascinated by horror novels and their movie adaptations, Zeth channels his bone-riddled arms in their study. Games are also a tasty treat, but he only has the two human limbs to write. If you enjoy his writing, check out his website.

View Articles