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Netflix’s Apostle trailer teases a bloody cult thriller from the director of The Raid

Dan Stevens stars in this period piece that will make you squirm

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

The year: 1905. The plight: Religious blood cults are kidnapping people. The solution: Dan Stevens, certified action hero.

In Apostle, a new film coming to Netflix in October, Stevens — best known for roles on Downton Abbey and Legion, but a proven skull-buster in the criminally underrated The Guest — teams up with The Raid director Gareth Evans for a unique twist on the religious psychodrama. The “twist” is somewhat literal: In the first trailer, we see cranks of a vise stretching out the spine, shackles wrapped around the wrists of prisoners, and a turn or two of a knife in the belly. Apostle promises a gruesome thriller that should scare and shock and further solidify the caliber of both actor and director.

Stevens plays Thomas Richardson, described in the film’s official synopsis as the “prodigal son,” who returns home to discover that his sister has been abducted by a religious sect living in solitude on a misty island. To retrieve her, Thomas travels to the remote location and embeds himself among the members, led by Prophet Malcolm (Michael Sheen). Thanks to bloodlust and the general evil of man, the rescue operation does ... not go smoothly.

Written and directed by Evans, Apostle is “a harrowing occult fable where the only thing more horrifying than madness is the sinister reality behind it.” Fans of puritanical action-horror like Black Death, Solomon Kane, The Wicker Man or even Tom Hardy’s Taboo should immediately cue this one up.

Apostle hits Netflix on Oct. 12.

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