Movie Review: Apocalyptic
The story follows two documentary makers, Jodie Black (Jane Elizabeth Barry) and Kevin Horner (Geoff Pinfield) as they film and gain the trust of a cut off cult lead by Michael Godson (David Macrae). Obviously alarm bells begin to ring in our protagonists’ heads as they begin to realise that Godson intends to send his all-female followers to heaven using the well known Jonestown/Flavor Aid method.
While this all sounds very predictable (and it is) there are a few good elements that might drag you through to the end if you have absolutely nothing else to do. The first is Pinfield as Kevin who comes across as a really likeable guy. He’s very natural in the role and he’s genuinely fun to spend some time with, adding a much needed levity to this generally seedy and somber movie. It’s his relationship with the little girl Gray (Zoe Imms) that’s the only one that works in the film. As Jodie, Barry doesn’t deliver nearly the engagement the audience needs from her, likeable or otherwise. She’s wooden and inexpressive so spending time with her is a real chore. She also doesn’t possess either the charisma, magnetism or air of power for her to be believable as the head honcho in her dynamic with Kevin.
Macrae as the leader of the cult is the only other character that works. His south English accent is unusual and interesting here in this middle-of-nowhere Australian forest wilderness. He’s also very detached and serene, delivering a very good saintly performance. It’s not unsettling, the film doesn’t have the atmosphere for that unfortunately, but Macrae elevates the film when he’s in it. His character is genuinely unpleasant and when he calmly takes the 7 year old Gray to bed we get a nicely direct parallel and indictment of religion and how no matter what form it takes, it always seems to breed the same disgusting behaviour and people, and yet somehow internally makes this acceptable to itself.