I Survived ‘Apostle’ (and liked it)

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.

congrats for not dying of fright!

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.

me, fighting my way to the story

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)

Hell hath no fury like the father of a teenage daughter

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.

this guy had one job and one job only, which he did methodically and robotically. He was scary too.

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.

in the daytime.
[gifs by damstevens]
Advertisements

scaredy-cat

Dan Stevens is set to star in a gory horror film about a religious cult set in the year 1905, Wales. I was really looking forward to this film, until I found out about the gory part. now, I’m nervous.

me, awaiting the release of Apostle on Netflix, October 12

I enjoy a good thriller. I like an unbalanced protagonist as well. I even like violence, of a certain kind (hand to hand combat, gun shoot outs). I do not like gore. I try- when my son used to watch The Walking Dead, I would browse the internet with my back to the television so that I could listen to the story but not have to watch it. the monsters of humanity can be a hard limit for me too; torture, especially if children or animals are involved, is a no go. the more reviews I read of this film, the more apprehensive I feel. the story, as I understand it, revolves around an ex-preacher who is battling drug addiction while infiltrating a cult to rescue his sister, who has been abducted and is being held for ransom. the cult is located on a remote island and worships a supernatural being that may or may not be real. if this were a book, I’d jump on that in a hot minute! but it’s not a book, it’s a visual blood bath of torture.

how did those bodies get up in those trees like that? i’m not sure i want to know.

Some may watch something like this, cringe, and then walk away with the feeling that it’s simply not to their liking. I can’t just walk away from these things. case in point: Richard Armitage’s part in the third season of HannibalI was leery leading up to that performance but I bravely moved forward because I knew the portrayal of a character like that would be something worth seeing if it was in the hands of Richard Armitage. it was, and I am glad that I didn’t chicken out. but that character, particularly the Dragon half of the equation, haunted me for a long time after. granted, it was more a psychological issue for me than a gore one, though that scene of Richard biting off Raul Esparza’s lips will stay with me for eternity!

a kiss is just a kiss

It’s ironic because as a child, I watched a lot of horror. since October is nearly upon us, my 14 year old daughter is trying to make a list of horror films that she can watch leading up to Halloween. I’ve been bombarding her with movie titles: The Omen(s), The Poltergeist(s) The Amityville Horror. I should also mention that I can’t do ghosts anymore either. I can’t even listen to Ghost Hunters. maybe my brain just reached it’s horror limit somewhere along the way and said “okay, that’s enough. we just can’t let anymore in! we’re filled to capacity.” as scared as I am to watch Apostle, I still will because I know without a doubt that Dan Stevens will deliver a performance worth watching. I’ll just need to hold my daughter’s hand while doing it.

ain’t too proud, to watch through my fingers.

 

Movie Challenge: favorite horror

 

3.) Your Favorite Horror Movie

I don’t particularly enjoy horror movies, or rather, not anymore. When I was young, I watched a lot of horror because it was the 1980s and that’s just what you did. I liked watching the kind of horror films that were either intentionally funny or so cheesy that they became funny, things like House II, The Gate, The Blob. I liked the multi-storied variety like The Twilight Zone and Cat’s Eye too because I was used to watching the old Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents television episodes with my parents, along with Tales from the Darkside and Amazing Stories. I often watched a lot of horror with my older brother too: The Exorcist, Damien, The Thing, along with all of the Halloweens, Friday the 13ths, Nightmare on Elm streets, and Hellraisers. Sometimes I would watch things that I really shouldn’t have been watching and lived to regret later, like The Howling or Wolfen. Where the hell were my parents? that’s what I’d like to know. Why did they let me watch these things?! It’s no wonder I was plagued with nightmares my whole childhood.

why I slept under the pillows, instead of on them.

 

Now that I’m an adult, I stay away from horror as much as possible. I’m the sissy who hides her eyes during horror film trailers. and when my husband watches Ghost Hunters, I leave the room at lightening speed.

 

So when trying to answer this question, my brain immediately went to something more lighthearted

answer: Shaun of the Dead

This movie is a fun zombie apocalypse story. That statement may seem like an oxymoron but in this case, it’s not. Shaun doesn’t have a whole lot going for him when the story starts. he hates his job, his girlfriend breaks up with him, his roommate berates him, and his best friend enables him.

Shaun gets drunk and when he wakes up the next day, the zombie invasion is under way. Only, he doesn’t notice at first. He slips in blood at the convenience store, thinks the zombie that approaches him in the street is begging for change, and he keeps changing the television channel through all the breaking news reports.

When he finally does become aware, he rushes off to ‘save’ his mother and girlfriend, planning to wait out the invasion in his favorite pub. but he has a few things that need to be taken care of first.

Along the way, Shaun the Slacker finds some courage, at least enough to get them all to the pub in one piece. What follows is some gore

poor David!

 

And some genuine it’s-been-good-knowing-you bouts of emotion

‘you’ve got red on you’

 

But only enough to classify it as a zombie movie. And that’s why I like it: a comedy that I can loosely claim as horror. Gotta keep up appearances!

Shaun: As Bertrand Russell once said, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” I think we can all appreciate the relevance of that now.

Liz: Was that on a beer mat?

Shaun: Yeah, it was Guinness Extra Cold.

up next: Favorite Drama