We all want to understand ourselves, our past and our needs. But when this happens to interfere with your job and you end up using it at your advantage, you might get a handful of answers that you’re not ready to handle on your own—especially if the answers involves an unexpected possession as in The Old Ways.
The Old Ways gives us the story of Cristina Lopez (Brigitte Kali Canales), an American reporter doing research for a story about Mexican tribes, whom ends up being sequestered by a couple of brujos for wandering the caves of La Boca after being advised by her cousin to avoid it completely—but as the curious reporter she is, she ignores every sign and verbal warning for the sake of a story. Once locked in a cell, she’s told by her cousin—which for some reason knows and supports everything but doesn’t like to get involved—that a demon has been found inside her and that they won’t let her go until they get rid of it. Is she really possessed or is it all in their heads? It doesn’t matter what you believe in because you’re going to see it anyway—“tú lo vas a ver.”
The Old Ways stands for practicing the old witching ways, which according to the film it is all about rituals that involve chickens, force-feeding goat milk to the human vessel, striking of the body with palms, throwing salt all over the place while mixing spices in a mortar, painting symbols with the blood of animals and spitting liquid substances like germs are the least of your worries. Even though some of it may seem like a stereotype for some, it does show some relevance to the little respect it has for the Mexican tribes in the south of Mexico—it’s not insulting but it’s merely a copy of all films trying to depict Santeria.
Putting this aside, the film is pretty awesome and scary. It is mostly unpredictable on its jump-scares leaving the viewer with a sense a safety while abusing their trust—it ends up being a horrible yet thrilling joyride. It seems loud for a while but your screams might be louder. It’s also very gruesome as blood runs everywhere and organs are being replaced for bags of demonic body parts—it gets very crafty during the representation of rituals.
It has zero to none on the development of its characters but it does take some time to make the viewer understand the emptiness that the central characters feels and why she’s trying to fill it with whatever gives her a kick; it can be an amazing story to report or the use of narcotics. It’s very careful on the details it shows on its scenery and its cast. It’s evident that the cast has been carefully selected according to their skills and their native tongue’s accent.
Loaded with a bunch of horror antics and a sprinkle of comedy, The Old Ways is the kind of film that makes you think you’re getting too much weird stuff for a simple demonic possession but at the same time makes you feel good for the thrills.
8 OUT OF 10 DEMON TEETH
|The Old Ways|