Apostle (2018)

Gareth Evans directs Dan Stevens, Martin Sheen and Lucy Boynton in this period folk horror mystery about a haunted older brother who infiltrates an island of cult worshippers who have kidnapped his sister.

Possibly the best film to spin out from the impressive cult wake left after The Wicker Man, easily far superior to the “official” remakes and sequels. While Evans doesn’t exploit his cast particularly well (the charismatic male leads bring more to the film in providence than it gives them to do) he makes sure we are never without an image that shocks or disgusts or fills us with dread. This and Private Life prove Netflix’s worth more than their recent obvious awards bait releases. The Coen Brothers and Alfonso Cuarón will always find a green light. Solid, rewatchable films like this are struggling for finance and distribution in the arthouses and multiplexes. The streaming giant has gifted us two of the best original films of the year within quick succession. One was mature and witty, the other gory and suspenseful. And I got to watch both in nothing but my underpants. Kudos.

8

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