How Gareth Evans Listened to His Gut to Unsettle Audiences with 'Apostle'

Filmmaker Gareth Evans is a huge name in the world of genre filmmaking, though that niche success doesn't necessarily make him a household name, as many of his efforts are too intense for the average moviegoer. Evans continues that trend of being uncompromising with his horror film Apostle, which lands on Netflix this Friday, with the filmmaker claiming he doesn't intend to upset with his films, he just listens to his instincts when it comes to delivering a story.

"I'm not going out of my way to provoke. I'm not saying, 'Oh, I'm gonna take you on a journey, I'm gonna drag you by your collar, and I'm gonna take you on this awful aggressive ride.' It's not aggression in that respect," Evans shared with "I think it's purely just a thing of, I rely on my gut instincts whenever I make anything. I rely on my gut instincts to tell me whether something's too far or not far enough. I can only rely on my own internal barometer for what's okay and what's not okay for what I show on screen. So I kind of answer to myself in that respect."

Arguably the filmmaker's biggest hits, literally and figuratively, have been his The Raid films, which are some of the best martial arts films of the decade. While those films deliver astonishing hand-to-hand combat and intense violence, Apostle instead takes viewers on a long and arduous journey to investigate a cult with bizarre practices.

Despite the uncomfortable experiences he subjects his audiences to, he finds all of these sequences to manifest organically and is turned off by the notion of shocking audiences for shock's sake.

"I'm not designing anything any particular way to make people repulsed," Evans noted. "I think if that was what I was aiming for, I think that's lazy and phony. I want it to feel like whatever we do, whatever our approach is, is earned within the world of the film. And it's earned within the tonal shifts of the film."

While his new film might not offer the same break-neck pace of his action efforts, Apostle will surely unease with its mysterious plot and shocking revelations.


You can check out Apostle when it lands on Netflix this Friday.

Is it obvious when a filmmaker is intentionally aiming to repulse audiences as opposed to earning it organically? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!