Apostle (2018)

Director: Gareth Evans

Writer: Gareth Evans (Screenplay)

Starring: Dan Stevens, Kristine Froseth, Lucy Boynton, Michael Sheen, Bill Milner, Mark Lewis Jones, Elen Rhys


Plot: A man attempts to rescue his sister who’s been kidnapped by a religious cult.


Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Slower Than it Needs to Be


Story: Apostle starts as Thomas (Stevens) must travel to a remote island run by Prophet Malcolm (Sheen) who has created a religious cult community where everyone is equal to locate his sister who has had a bounty placed on her head by the cult for her safe release from the island.

Once Thomas becomes part of the community he must keep his head down with Malcolm trying to figure out who the person from the mainland that is meant to bringing him a ransom, the race is on to save his sister before becoming captured himself.


Thoughts on Apostle


Characters – Thomas Richardson has experienced the world, long though to be dead, he is pushed by his father to go in search of his sister whom has joined a religious cult. Thomas must use his skills to blend into the cult to learn the truth about his sister, which he can do with ease, his problems come from needing to sneak around a secretive community that don’t keep secrets from each other. Prophet Malcolm is the leader of the cult, he has the people believing the island will keep them safe from any harm from the mainland wars, he does make strict rules and must return to his life of crime to keep the community together. Andrea is the daughter of Malcolm one that does want to keep everyone calm through any problems, she does help Thomas once she learns he knows what the problems are around.

PerformancesDan Stevens in the leading role does give us a great performance, we know he needs to feel withdrawn with his character and keeps us believing this throughout the film. Michael Sheen shines as the leader of the cult because if any actor could be seen as a cult leader, he would be that guy with his smooth delivery of his words. Lucy Boynton is good in her role which is meant to be a woman figure before her time.

StoryThe story follows that must locate his sister who has become mixed up within a cult on a remote island during the early 1900’s. we are left to see just how he must become part of the cult just to learn the truth, where evil could be around nearly every corner because of the mindset of the cult. Where the story comes off most interesting is openly telling us that the cult leader is willing to turn to crime to get money because his religious beliefs are not working. The pace of the film does feel slow because we do spend more time that we need to on one of the side stories over the mystery about why the daughter was taken or her location. Once everything sets off we will be left entertained by just how weird things do get in this film.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from the way the cult and just what they are planning, we learn as Thomas does too. The mystery in the film circles around why Thomas’ sister is being put through the conditions she is and what the cults true ideas are.

SettingsThe film is set on a remote island, the idea is that we see a community away from the mainland trying to make it themselves not following the laws of the world.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show the us the practical ones being used to product wounds which look as painful as they seem

Scene of the Movie –
Purification is the scene that will stick with you.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Everything feels overly drawn out when it doesn’t need to be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that starts slow, but once it finds the top gear it doesn’t stop, to let you breath.


Overall: One of the better Netflix horrors




The Lighthouse (2016)

Director: Chris Crow

Writer: Paul Bryant, Chris Crow, Michael Jibson (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Lewis Jones, Michael Jibson, Ian Vrigo, Nathan Sussex, Gerald Tyler, Stephane McDade, Joshua Richards


Plot: Based on real events which saw two lighthouse keepers stranded for months at sea in a freak storm, the film tells a tale of death, madness and isolation; a desolate trip into the heart of human darkness.

Tagline – Save Our Souls…

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow Moving Thriller


Story: The Lighthouse starts in the year of 1805, two men Thomas Griffiths (Jones) the head lighthouse keeper and Thomas Howell (Jibson) must man the lighthouse 25 miles from land in one of the most dangerous straights of water in the Irish sea. With only each other to keep themselves company, things are going smoothly to start with.

When a storm comes to the lighthouse and the two men must survive on limited rations until the storm passes, here is where madness comes out in the men as they have no idea how long it will be until they are rescued.


Thoughts on The Lighthouse


Characters – We have two Thomas’ here, Griffiths has been a lighthouse keeper for years, it runs in his family, he knows the commitment needed to cope with the condition they may well be facing. Howell has found religion after his own errors, he doesn’t see eye to eye with Griffiths and his beliefs are considered bad luck. We see how both the men must deal with the idea of being trapped, they cope in different ways.

PerformancesWhen we look at performances we have a two man show here, Mark Lewis Jones and Michael Jibson are both great as you do believe their minds going as the film unfolds.

StoryThe story is meant to be based on a real story, it keeps things looking at how the men would survive not knowing how long the storm will last with dwindling resources. The time period helps us too because there is no quick fix for the situation. I would have liked to have seen more of how the lighthouse operates because when it comes to dealing with the wait, the pace of the story slows down and there isn’t too many directions the twists and turns could go in the waiting process.

ThrillerThe film does want to keep us guessing to how long or if the men will make it through the storm, this is where everything it placed for the tension required in the film.

SettingsThe film takes place on the lighthouse, it gives us complete isolation from any rescue and show us how the madness could take over from the endless wait.

Scene of the Movie –
The final 20 minutes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The storm doesn’t feel like it is deadly enough to stop ships.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow-moving thriller that is meant to be based on a real event, it is an interesting idea because we know the one or two people based films in a singular location can keep us on edge, if the performance connects. The performances are good, but sadly the story does hit a lull in the middle.


Overall: Slow moving, cut 20 minutes you would have a tidy thriller.