I told myself I wasn’t going to start this article by saying I have a huge crush on Michael Sheen, but here we are. I also happen to have a horror crush on anything culty.
Hear me out – Cult films are the Exorcism film’s more creative cousin. Exorcism and Cult films typically share religious fanaticism, which yes – can get tedious. (Good vs. Evil, we getttt itttt) Cult films though, don’t end with a priest doing a prayer a little harder, a distraught mother believing in God a little more. Cult films are a complete gamble. They all start the same – young, beautiful girl lost to a cult (usually), but what that cult eventually represents is up to the filmmaker. Each new cult film we’re invited to climb into the mystery machine and determine whether it’s a sham, something paranormal is at play, aliens, actual religious stuff is happening – you name it.
Side note; I’m not defending my crush on Michael Sheen. Just watch Underworld and tell me that scene in the elevator and jumping on that car doesn’t make you wish werewolves were real life, and Michael Sheen was the king of said wolves. Okay I guess I did.
So yeah, Cults.
Apostle, the movie I am actually talking about today (if you can believe it) pits a man against a religious cult, led by our dear Sheen, in order to rescue his sister from their fanatical clutches. The twist? It’s 1905.
London, 1905. Prodigal son Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) has returned home, only to learn that his sister is being held for ransom by a religious cult. Determined to get her back at any cost, Thomas travels to the idyllic island where the cult lives under the leadership of the charismatic Prophet Malcolm (Michael Sheen). As Thomas infiltrates the island’s community, he learns that the corruption of mainland society that they claim to reject has infested the cult’s ranks nonetheless – and uncovers a secret far more evil than he could have imagined. Written and directed by Gareth Evans (THE RAID), APOSTLE is a harrowing occult fable where the only thing more horrifying than madness is the sinister reality behind it.
Apostle is written and directed by Gareth Evans. It stars Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Mark Lewis Jones, Bill Milner, Kristine Froseth, Paul Higgins and (obvs) Michael Sheen.
So is it all real? Is it all a sham? You’ll have to climb into that mystery machine and watch Apostle on Netflix, October 12th.