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Up until now, director Gareth Evans' name has been linked with The Raid and its sprawling sequel, The Raid: Berandal. That's what happens when you reinvent a time-tested genre like the action-thriller: the world NEEDS to know what you are going to do next. For Evans, the answer is Apostle, a bloody mix of faith and fear that will reach Netflix in October. Before that, we have the first trailer, which you can watch right now:
In the press notes for Apostle, it's stated that Gareth Evans takes cues from The Wicker Man, and damn, is that ever obvious. Plunging into the sordid debate around organized religion and cult-like behavior at the turn of the century. Apostle follows mysterious stranger Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens, The Guest and Beauty and the Beast) who embarks on a journey through 1905 London to reclaim his sister, who has joined a cult. On an island off the coast, Thomas encounters the captivating leader of this organized sect, Prophet Malcolm (Michael Sheen), who of course has nasty motives for wanting to form this new religion.
I would belly up to Apostle if it was simply a camera pointed at Michael Sheen and Dan Stevens, in a test of wills. These two are incredible actors, and this material should be ripe for them to explore some dramatic territories.
But when you bring Gareth Evans into the fold, it elevates Apostle to a new playing field. Yes, there is a quick shot of what could be Dan Stevens in a fight sequence involving poles and sticks. When you hire the guy behind The Raid, you turn him loose. But in truth, I'm more excited to see what tricks Apostle brings to the table in a new genre: that of psychological horror. You saw this little dude, right? Because I'm going to see him again in my nightmares this evening, that much I can guarantee.
Before Apostle makes its way into people's homes via Netflix, the producers plan to swing it by Fantastic Fest in Austin, which is an ideal launch pad for a genre film like this. Expect the buzz coming out of Austin to set the tone for the reception. But the beautiful thing about Netflix is that, so long as you are a subscriber, the only thing that it will cost you -- should you decide to check it out -- is some of your time.
When can you check it out? Apostle will begin to stream on Netflix globally on October 12. Written and directed by Gareth Evans, Apostle co-stars Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, Lucy Boynton, Mark Lewis Jones, Bill Milner and Paul Higgins. What do you think of the new trailer? Do you think you will check this one out?