ARMAGEDDON GOSPELS / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: JOHN HARRIGAN / STARRING: KATE ALDERTON, MILO CRADICK, FINN HARRIGAN, JOHN HARRIGAN, SABRINA RODRIGUEZ / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 31ST (APPLE TV)
Folk horror is back in a big way, and it’s fantastic to see low budget filmmakers embracing the subgenre with thought-provoking and entertaining movies such as Armageddon Gospels.
A group of forgotten Arcadian gods have washed ashore with a mission: to find the Holy Grail and restore order to Albion. As they begin a trek across country, they come into contact with forces that plan to scupper their quest, as well as conflict between each other.
During their journey, the refuge gods meet icons of past British values, beliefs, and traditions and the interpretations are simple but mesmerising. As an allegory for things happening in the world today, particularly in the UK with Brexit and the reasons some people had for voting out, Armageddon Gospels works perfectly. It’s also a very entertaining and atmospheric fantasy for those who don’t want to look into deeper meanings. There’s an ethereal feel to almost every shot. The British landscape is perfectly captured in all its beauty - the filmmakers clearly making the most of nicer weather - but seeming alien at the same time. There are some truly haunting images among the beauty, though. As simple as the costume is, the Hare is as potent as anything in The Wicker Man. The naturally folk-tinged score by Jo Burke sets the perfect mood and evokes the feel of that aforementioned film yet works on its own terms.
Perhaps not as accessible as other folk horror tales, Armageddon Gospels is a worthy and well-made movie that rises above its humble budget and will no doubt develop a cult following with alternative groups. Its message is powerful and it’s a shame it’ll be lost on the people who need to hear it the most.