THE APOSTATE: CALL OF THE REVENANT

PrintE-mail Written by Dominic Cuthbert

DVD REVIEW: THE APOSTATE: CALL OF THE REVENANT / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: ANDY DODD / SCREENPLAY: ANDY DODD / STARRING: JAMES BRYHAN, HOLLIE ANDREWS, TERRI DWYER, ANTHONY WEBSTER, BOB SANDERSON / RELEASE DATE: TBC

The Apostate: Call of the Revenant marks the debut feature film from media whizz Andy Dodd. Given the film’s stunted budget and stark minimalist approach to setting, it isn’t one for mainstream taste. Carried by the strength of Dodd’s direction and stripped-back script, it’s a hard hitting true crime thriller.

It’s a slow burn effort that uses the confusion of its central character to disorientate the audience. Dodd uses a great pacing to gradually build up an electrifying sense of tension. The film opens with a fanfare of explicit Hostel-style torture, and despite the odd CG blood spurt, the practical effects, what little there are, are impressive. It lends a believable grunge of violence and grubby physicality to the screen.

Despite its deceptively simple premise, there’s not so much a plot as a hazy blur of tangible violence and torture. Nevertheless, Lance Cooper (Bryhan) wakes up caked in blood and breathing heavily, pulling his way around a disused car park. It adopts an interview format to frame the context of the brutality, opposite a brilliant performance from Hollie Andrews, all the while interjected with flashbacks. The film plays with a non-linear narrative to piece together the events leading up to Cooper’s incarceration.

The film does suffer in the sound department, the echoes and stock effects betraying its budget. Though it does make up for it with the score, being a rich synth soundscape of ambient dread.

The Apostate is a well shot and stylish effort from Dodd, who takes a DIY approach; writing, directing, producing and shooting the film himself. It’s a confident effort and a visceral assault on the senses, with Dodd proving what he can do for next to nothing.  Imagine what he could do with funding.
 

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