In my previous post about Dan’s horror movie Apostle, which became available to view on Netflix Friday, I talked about my fears that it would be too scary and gore filled for me to enjoy. I was wrong. I did enjoy it. it wasn’t really as scary as I convinced myself it would be, and the gore factor was limited to small segments that I not only got through, but sometimes actually liked.
The majority of the reviews/reactions said that the story was a slow build but then the third act went crazy wild and climaxed in a twist ending. they also said it was full of gore and violence and it was super scary… it seems the internet and I have different definitions of what ‘gore’ ‘scary’ and even ‘river of blood’ mean. FYI: a sewage trench does not a river of blood make. don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie, but I saw that ending coming from the first time Thomas pricked his thumb outside his rooming house door. I didn’t think the third act came out of nowhere and hit you in the face either, I thought it flowed well. it’s true that a significant amount of time passed before the blood and gore made an appearance but the storyline needed that time to build the suspense. I want a story first and foremost, the ‘eew!’ moments, as fun as they sometimes can be, are secondary.
Speaking of eew! moments, I felt there were 3 big ones. the first involved the birth of a malnourished lamb and the callous way it was disposed of. the second centered around a ‘purification’ ritual that drilled through someone’s skull. most of the scene was suggestive violence (sound effects) until they showed a quick shot of the aftermath, which I’ll admit I turned my head away from. the third instance was actually a scene that I enjoyed, due to the suspense. it was hinted at in the trailer, when Dan’s character is being pulled along a table towards a meat grinder. fishing hooks are involved and some meat does get ground. (there is also bloodletting, knife fights, and a violent spear incident, but those type of things don’t bother me)
I think tone matters a lot when it comes to thrillers and horror movies. the background music in this movie was classic horror fare, and the build up of the storyline felt very classic to me as well. when I first saw the trailer, I got a Children of the Corn vibe from it, which made me excited to see it. then I took everyone’s descriptions of it to heart and let them kill that excitement for me. I wouldn’t say the movie isn’t scary, because there were times my whole body was clenched in fear: that ‘river of blood’ scene that involved very little head room (I’m claustrophobic) and a supernatural being chasing Thomas through the water. THAT was scary. also, the secret shack where the meat grinder scene took place. that whole place was creepy! the scariest thing about the movie for me didn’t involve anything supernatural, but rather the cult member who went off the deep end in his lust for power. HE was scary. I did like Michael Sheen’s cult leader though, even if he was on the bad side.
So how was Dan in this movie? there is a scene where Thomas blackmails a teen boy into helping him in the quest to find his sister. Dan is threatening in that scene and I really liked it. his character is grumpy and suspicious through most of the movie, so all those glowers are enjoyable too. when he’s scared, his eyes get really wide and when he’s blissed, his smile is so serene it borders on comical. there was a scene where he experienced a mind meld, if you will, and he’s all blissed out, draping himself across the person’s lap. I don’t know if that was meant to be funny, but I got a good chuckle out of it. I liked the ending of the movie too. I’m glad it ended that way.
so, yeah. I survived Apostle and liked it. I’ll even go so far as to say, I’ll watch it again.