Gareth Evans has returned to home shores for “Apostle,” which is less kung fu and more cultic survival horror — though this debut trailer sneaks in a martial arts sequence among more gruesome scenes.
In between breakout action movie “The Raid: Redemption” and its numbered sequel, Welsh director Gareth steered a segment for horror anthology “V/H/S 2,” and the first trailer for the cult infiltration storyline of “Apostle” recalls the latter more than the former.
It’s the early 1900s and the leader of an isolationist religious group has found an island for his flock to call its home.
But this brand of freedom appears heavy on control, confinement, and painful punishment; one man sets out to rescue his sister from the cult’s grip and is put through a quite literal purgatorial wringer as a result.
Dan Stevens of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Legion” stars as Thomas Richardson, attempting to extract sister Andrea (Lucy Boynton, “Murder on the Orient Express,”) with Michael Sheen of “Masters of Sex” as the intimidating Prophet Malcolm.
The uncomfortably brutal scenes that comprise this first “Apostle” trailer indicate a switch away from the Indonesian martial arts movies that helped establish Evans to something closer to South Korea’s original “Oldboy” — though an action scene indicates that Evans hasn’t forgotten his roots or his fans’ expectations.
An international release date of October 12, 2018 has been set by Netflix, following a September 21 debut at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, USA.