The Apology Movie Review: What Happens at the End of the Story?

The new home invasion/murder mystery from Shudder is dull. There is no question about that. The announcement of the actors and plot outline promised a taut thriller with minimal exposition and maximum intensity.

Single-location settings are potent tools that, when used correctly, can be advantageous in multiple ways. But for writer and director Alison Locke, it becomes a burden.

Despite Anna Gunn and Linus Roache’s solid performances, the lack of enthusiasm in the first half and motivation in the second half prevents us from rationalizing her story. The Apology is imprisoned by its own artistic decisions and fights to escape.

The plot is lacking in specifics, although sufficient material is provided at the outset. Darlene (Gunn) lost her daughter Sally almost twenty years ago. She has not yet been located, but Darlene has not given up hope.


At least, this is how she convinces herself to remain sober and lead a solitary life. Gretchen, her next-door neighbor in the wilderness, keeps her company and left her alone during that terrible thundersnow before Christmas.

However, Darlene’s night is not finished yet. Jack, her ex-brother-in-law, knocks on her door just as she is ready to relapse.

As Jack’s “confession” begins to unfold, the film’s true beginning has arrived. However, The Apology quickly loses its fundamental mystery and allure. We learn the truth about Sally before the halfway mark, and the lack of passion to generate tension from the accompanying mayhem renders the reveal a tedious event.

Locke appears to be at a loss for how to exploit the setting and emotions with her actors. The obstruction was the most bothersome component of the situation. It was all anyone could think about at the time: how awkward and lackluster the responses were, and how Locke’s grip on her narrative loosened as the minutes passed.

When Jack spilled the beans, there were hardly any close-ups or stills of Gunn’s face in the film. The background music did not help, and none of the components that make such stories so enjoyable to follow through to the finish were triggered.

Being emotionless would not be fair to the actors, who are attempting their best. The entire first half is unenjoyable due to Locke’s incapacity to convey shock, anguish, and complete desolation. Not to say that the second was significantly better, but it was an improvement due to Darlene’s altered temperament. Jack’s introduction of a gun increased the level of energy and urgency.

Locke is able to derive some pleasure from these moments of tension, but they go nowhere. Although the execution is the issue in this case, the conception also appears to be somewhat flimsy.

In retrospect, Locke’s 90-minute monologue does not include a great deal of material. With only two characters and no external interferences, it was always going to come down to how interested the audience was in Darlene and Jack’s history.

And it appeared for a time that this would propel the plot ahead. The abruptness with which everything crumbled in The Apology, though, is regrettable.

The Apology Movie Review
The Apology Movie Review

Frequently, the premise carries some weight. There is a possibility to create something unique from them, but that cannot be said for The Apology. All of its issues stem from the idea, and the actors can only accomplish so much on their own.

Gunn goes full “Walter White” in the second half as the night grows darker and her character faces the arduous chore of activating her vengeful side.


She effectively conveys Darlene’s apathy, heartache, and helplessness. Gunn’s very natural method enables us to observe Darlene’s progressive integration into the situation and eventual emergence. However, the mental process is too superficial to have an influence.

The Apology is a bad film with little deception and nuance. The lack of props for the plot makes the viewing experience unpleasant and unlike any other picture, Shudder has to offer. The Geeko meter is not kind to this mediocre thriller if it can even be called that.

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