Connect with us
the apology

Movie Reviews

‘The Apology’ review: Christmas thriller with a vengeance

Performances carry the film.

The Apology is a taut Christmas thriller that delves into haunted pasts. Darlene Hagan (Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad) is a recovering alcoholic who is about to host her first Christmas dinner in twenty years. It has also been twenty years since her daughter went missing. Her neighbor Gretchen (Janeane Garofalo, Wet Hot American Summer) has helped her through these difficult times and has even come over on Christmas Eve to help prepare. But when her sister’s ex-husband Jack (Linus Roache, Mandy) makes an unexpected visit, he brings an unexpected surprise with him.

The performances carry the film. Part of this is born out of necessity as the majority of the action takes place in a single location. Holiday movies tend to revel in the moment, with brightly lit neighborhoods and excited crowds. The Apology conveys the same tone, but in a much more toned down manner. There is not the bombast that is normally associated with the season as it is a more focused story.

The other reason the cast is so important is due to how small it is. With only three characters (along with the looming memory of Sally’s disappearance) the acting takes on added importance. Gunn and Roache are magnificent and much of movie is spent with the two them. Initially, the pair share memories of better times and there is a wistful feeling to their reunion. It is not long before rage and thoughts of vengeance.

The Apology has to lean on its leads as the actual plot is uneven. The opening moments are great at ratcheting up the tension, and Gunn and Roache make sure the feeling remains. Even when things seem to be coasting on cruise control, the two make sure things remain engaging. There are some slight missteps along the way, but strong performances ensure the audience will keep watching.

The Apology comes to theaters and Shudder December 16

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today
Comments

In Case You Missed It

Marvel Preview: Spider-Woman #6 Marvel Preview: Spider-Woman #6

Marvel Preview: Spider-Woman #6

Comic Books

New ‘Phoenix’ #1 X-Men series to launch with creators Stephanie Phillips and Alessandro Miracolo New ‘Phoenix’ #1 X-Men series to launch with creators Stephanie Phillips and Alessandro Miracolo

New ‘Phoenix’ #1 X-Men series to launch with creators Stephanie Phillips and Alessandro Miracolo

Comic Books

Marvel reveals details for new X-Men series 'NYX' #1 Marvel reveals details for new X-Men series 'NYX' #1

Marvel reveals details for new X-Men series ‘NYX’ #1

Comic Books

Marvel sheds light on Jed MacKay and Ryan Stegman's 'X-Men' #1 Marvel sheds light on Jed MacKay and Ryan Stegman's 'X-Men' #1

Marvel sheds light on Jed MacKay and Ryan Stegman’s ‘X-Men’ #1

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup