By Renee Santos
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 4/1/23 – The First Feature Film by writer/director Alison Star Locke, The Apology, needs no atonement instead praise for skillfully bringing the revenge fantasy genre to an audience without the ultra-stylized blood-drenched guttural vengeance stories we have already seen. The Apology was just released on Blu Ray so make room in your video library because this film is a worthy addition to your at-home collection.
There is always a visceral need for the rape-revenge story to be told. Notably, in the empennage of the #MeToo Movement, The Apology is an important film to see. It reinvents the rape-requital premise, by ripping the male gaze out of the onlooker’s imagination by being rebellious in a different way. The emotional and mental effect on the characters and the viewer is what hits the hardest, Locke doesn’t reiterate the horrifying and hypnotic tale that fuels toxic male fantasy in a more perverse way, just as that of cult classic rape-revenge movies like, I Spit on Your Grave and The Virgin Spring.
Locke’s grasp of male entitlement and the elements of a rape culture are as sharp as her instincts for storytelling. Locke’s approach to telling this tale is nuanced and subdued, but still manages to evoke that internal primal scream.
The Apology is quite a triumph illustrating the raw biological imperative for a mother to advocate for her daughter, confirming the dimensions of the female consciousness by embodying both the nurturing and the violent side of a mother’s secret thinking without the loud, brash, blood and drugs caricature of most revenge films. Locke manages to avoid falling into exploitation by relying on her protagonist, Darlene’s force of personality.
I had the opportunity to sit down with the writer/director to talk about what it was like to make this emotionally layered film.
What inspired The Apology?
Locke: It came to me in a dream, a man came to my front door and said, “I know what happened to your daughter.” My daughter had never been missing, but I knew I had an opportunity to nurture that idea by showing the dimensions that a mother is battling inside. Motherhood is the worst of times and the best of times, it’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever experienced and yet it’s also the most glorious. It’s not my daughter, she’s a magical creature, it’s that the world is not really set up to support mothers, and this story assuages the frustration that mothers are battling inside. My favorite moment on set was when we filmed that point when he knocks on the door. People say, “If you dream it, you can create it.” Here I was… I did actually literally really dream it and I am filming the creation right now. This is amazing.
What was your goal for your film and how is it different than others in this genre?
Locke: Part of my goal was to be rebellious in a different way, a lot of modern films are like, cut, cut, cut, super-fast-paced energy, lots of locations, what if we really slowed it down and went almost theatrical in a way, and then got more cinematic as you go? As much as there was a part of me that wanted the guttural to beat him up, cut off his d#ck, and put it on the front porch, those are movies that exist, but I wanted to do something different, a kind of revenge tale that would be a realistic depiction of what my revenge story would actually be.
I could talk to Locke forever, her account of this journey as a first-time feature-length film writer/director was compelling, the clip below is a sampling of why I couldn’t pull away from this creator’s expedition from script to screen.
My Favorite Clip from my Interview with Writer/Director Alison Star Locke of THE APOLOGY – YouTube
The Apology more than satisfies and exceeds expectations, hopefully, it will serve as a turning point for the genre. I can’t wait to see what she does next. This is a stunning debut. You can follow the proclaimed Horror Hound/Gleeful Genre Blender on Instagram @alisonstarlocke. There are many ways to add THE APOLOGY to your movie library by clicking on the following link https://www.blu-ray.com/dvd/The-Apology-DVD/268453/
The Apology is also available on VOD, AMC+, and Shudder. Although you may not be able to sleep for a night or two after watching this film, this is simply unmissable. Download it today.