Despite the cheerful decorations and colorful lights, the winter holidays aren’t necessarily all that festive for some people. The bitter cold, the casual presence of alcohol, and the obligation to interact with family can be a little too much to handle at once. December’s snowy backdrop isn’t exactly a horror-movie setting, but considering how sophisticated horror has reached such a wide audience in recent years, who says a horror movie can’t happen during the holidays? This has been done before, with great success. This is even claimed Black Christmasoriginally released in 1974, it was a precursor to the slasher genre and directly inspired John Carpenters Halloween only four years later.
Celebrating director/writer Alison Locke’s feature film debut The apology appears to be an amazing entry into the holiday horror genre. With the Christmas season starting earlier and earlier every year, why not celebrate a little earlier? Featuring a surprisingly quality cast, an up-and-coming director and the participation of Company X Productions, we hope Shudder’s next big exclusive is a big hit.
Here’s everything we know The apology.
The Apology: The Plot
According to the description of the official trailer, the plot synopsis for The apology is as follows:
Twenty years after her daughter’s disappearance, recovering alcoholic Darlene Hagan (Anna Gunn) prepares to host her family’s Christmas party again with the help of her friend and neighbor Gretchen (Janeane Garofalo). Late on Christmas Eve, Darlene’s estranged ex-brother-in-law Jack (Linus Roache) arrives unannounced with nostalgic gifts and a dark secret. Darlene soon finds herself caught between reason and ruthless instinct. Held together by a dangerous storm, a power struggle escalates into a brutal revenge game.
Apparently The apology will be another horror film that makes heavy use of a single location, which fits with the forced interaction idea mentioned above. Alcohol is also likely to play a significant role in the story: it was used extensively in a similar film, The lighthouse, where it served to pass the time in isolation, with the unintended effect of feeding into the characters’ paranoia and declining sanity. In addition, the “violent revenge game” could imply that one of the three was responsible for the disappearance of Darlene’s daughter.
Movies set in a single location lean more toward the psychological side of horror, even when an outside threat is introduced. From the trailer alone, no supernatural phenomena seemed to be taking place. Instead, it focused more on the tensions between Hagan, Gretchen, and Jack, punctuated by blackened corners of the house and the garish, festive colors of Christmas. The two color palettes deliberately clash, no doubt reflecting the film’s seething conflict.
The Apology: Cast and Crew
Darlene Hagan will star as Anna Gunn, best known for her role as Skyler on AMC Breaking Bad. During the reception to her performance breaking Bad was certainly mixed, it’s a testament to how well she can play a layered, complicated character. Darlene Hagan will certainly have significant character flaws, so it will be interesting to see how Gunn portrays those flaws in her own unique way. While Anna Gunn isn’t exactly a “scream queen,” she played a minor role in Kevin Smiths Red State in 2011.
Linus Roache, meanwhile, had a significant role as Jeremiah Sand in one of Company X Productions’ earlier films, Mandyas well as those recently published my cop. An actor since childhood, Roache is no stranger to playing villainous roles. Clean from the cleaner The Chronicles of Riddick to King Eckbert in viking, His performance will certainly be something to look forward to The apology.
Janeane Garofalo has a varied filmography. Aside from playing the role of Gretchen, she’s been pretty much everywhere, even playing herself on shows like The Sopranos, The Simpsons, and a variety of adult swim programs. Originally performing as a stand-up comedian, she has expanded her repertoire to include dramatic films, animated comedies and now horror films.
As for the production studio, Company X Productions has a significant history in independent filmmaking and has produced titles like No man of Goda crime thriller detailing the relationship between Ted Bundy and an FBI interrogator; a teacher, a drama about the aftermath of a teacher-student romance; and You are the next one, a delightfully funny horror film about a home invasion gone awry. Company X Productions has also previously worked with Shudder’s parent company, AMC Networks The apology.
The apology premieres in theaters, on Shudder and on AMC+ on December 16, 2022.