As the horror genre enjoys a modern revival thanks to films like Get Out, A Quiet Place and Hereditary, it’s inevitable streaming services would look to get in on the action.
Fortunately, streaming services are also getting better and better, with many films and series nowadays bypassing cinemas or regular TV to go straight online.
Netflix‘s latest movie to capitalise on the rise in popularity of the horror genre is Apostle, starring Beauty and the Beast‘s Dan Stevens and directed by Gareth Evans, who also directed The Raid.
The trailer has just been released by Netflix, and it’s fair to say it looks a lot darker than anything either actor or director has done before.
Check it out:
The description of the film simply reads:
In 1905, a drifter on a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister tangles with a sinister religious cult on an isolated island.
It may be succinct, but there’s enough in that sentence to whet the appetite of any horror fan.
Firstly, it’s 1905. While modern or even futuristic horror films can be great, the past, – especially pre-war, turn of the century times – is always creepy. People can be going about their normal day but, if it’s a time like this, of which we know some but not all of its history, it’s innately dark and a bit sinister.
Secondly, the protagonist is ‘a drifter’. In 1905, that can mean many things. Today it might just mean a traveller or a kind of homeless person, but back then, it could mean a number of things.
The fact that he’s on ‘a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister’ only deepens the intrigue. In what way is it dangerous? And why was his sister kidnapped – is she an important figure or just an unlucky girl?
Thirdly, and the real kicker for horror fans – ‘a sinister religious cult’. But not just a sinister religious cult. This cult is on an ‘isolated island’.
Were they isolated for their own safety? Banished from the mainland because their cult is just too darn weird, even for 1905? The modern age was still developing at the turn of the century, with ancient religions being upheld by many, but questioned by a few.
Could this be what makes the cult so sinister? Or have they formed their own religion?
There are clues, of course, but the film’s creators have been keeping their cards close to their chests.
In an interview, director Gareth Evans told Nerdist:
The most interesting thing about horror and thrillers is when there’s something deeper going on in the subtext of the film.
[Apostle] is not purely about a guy going to an island to rescue his sister. There’s more going on there.
We explore the notion of how man’s political ideals and desire for power can corrupt a religion, can corrupt society, can corrupt morality.
Sinister religious cults kidnapping people on isolated islands? We can’t wait.
Apostle comes to Netflix on October 12, 2018
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.