Apostle Netflix movie review: “straight out of the Spanish Inquisition slaybook”

Dan Stevens infiltrates Michael Shen's cult in a gruesome period horror from the director of The Raid

Apostle; Netflix; JH

★★★

Legion star Dan Stevens is plunged into Wicker Man territory for this creepy horror thriller set in the early 1900s.

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But being broody, moody and partial to pharmaceuticals probably isn’t the safest way for his prodigal son Thomas to infiltrate the remote island home of a fearsome religious cult and rescue his sister.

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With Thomas hiding his identity from Michael Sheen’s self-styled prophet and his henchmen – especially Mark Lewis Jones’s bristling bruiser – the tension bubbles along nicely, until a ghastlier force rears its head.

Better known as the director of visceral martial arts thriller The Raid and its sequel, Gareth Evans here riffs on his mind-bending Safe Haven segment from 2013 horror anthology V/H/S/2 to jangle the nerves with oppressive dread, jump-scares and eye-watering scenes of torture straight out of the Spanish Inquisition slaybook.

It’s a tad long and occasionally loses focus but Matt Flannery’s cinematography is splendidly effective, Stevens is a convincingly intense hero and the result is mercilessly watchable fright fare.

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Apostle is released on Netflix on 12 October 2018