Director Christopher Alender and writer Marcos Gabriel (Muppets Now, Memorial Day) take us to a dark and ancient place in the supernatural horror film The Old Ways.
The film centers on Cristina, a journalist who has returned to her native lands to write an article about disappearing cultures. After traveling to a forbidden place Cristina wakes up in chains in a strange old home in the jungle where an old man and a bruja (witch) refuse to set her free because a demon lies within her.
The film takes the horrors of possession, fear, depression, inner turmoil, and demons and spins them into a tale that has the best of both the old world and the new. Yes, this is a horror movie, but it is also about so much more. It’s about a woman coming home to literally face her demons, it’s about learning understanding, and respect, it is about family, and finding your place in the world. There are so many subjects, yet they all blend together so well. The writer and director set out to give viewers a lot of things to think about and did a fantastic job of it.
Right off to bat we are introduced to this ancient place off the beaten path. It has a dark, intense, and all-encompassing feel of dread that carries throughout the movie. It also feels as if the characters are an extension of ageless magic, the ancient place like they are themselves part of the jungle.
Brigitte Kali Canales stars as Cristina. In the beginning, you feel sorry for her, trapped and scared, but when she accepts her situation and begins to battle the darkness within her, she becomes a force to be reckoned with. You can actually feel her character shift and it is incredible. I don’t think the role could have been better cast, actually, I don’t think any of the roles could have been better cast. Aside from Canales, Andrea Cortés, Julia Vera, and Sal Lopez also did an amazing job.
This movie got me. Just when I thought the movie was ending, that her story was over, bam! Things are turned up three notches and the real battle begins. I was surprised and thrilled! Movies don’t catch me, off guard, much these days, but this one did. There were just so many things that surprised me in The Old Ways.
The Old Ways truly left me entertained. It’s smart, unexpected, gritty, stunning, and is so incredibly well done. There’s no question, it is one of the best genre films of the year. If you haven’t seen it, stop what you are doing and head over to Netflix and watch it, or better yet, buy a copy when it comes out on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on October 12, 2021, from Dark Star Pictures. You are going to want to watch this film more than once.
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