Director Gareth Evans’ new movie Apostle features multiple brutal scenes throughout its runtime, but it’s also a horror film that has a sense of restraint. Rather than constantly pushing your face into blood and gore, the move that it makes more often than not is suggesting really horrible violence and then letting imaginations fill in the blanks. It’s a strategy that’s actually really effective, and what’s funny is the approach was partially influenced by Evans’ father, as I learned during a recent interview. The filmmaker explained,
I had the pleasure of sitting down one-on-one with Gareth Evans last month following Apostle‘s premiere at Austin, Texas’ Fantastic Fest, and during that conversation one subject discussed was the writer/director’s approach to violence. Acknowledging that his new movie doesn’t get too overly explicit, I asked Evans about his personal philosophy in the area. As it turns out, one factor he keeps in mind during the production/editing phases is how his dad would feel watching the material, and judges from there.
Going further, Gareth Evans specifically highlighted what will ultimately be seen as one of Apostle‘s most notorious scenes — what he describes as the Heathen’s Stand. Appearing toward the end of the movie, it’s a torture device that primarily gets the job done with what are essentially giant, hand-turned corkscrews. Without going into detail, it’s all pretty disgusting, but it’s much more about the ideas than actually what’s shown on screen. Discussing the sequence, Evans said,