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The Demonic Horror Movie That Has Netflix Subscribers Gripping Their Seats

Netflix, the reigning champion of all streaming sites, is still many people's go-to when looking for a new film to watch. Whether you want a classic favorite or a hot new release, the streaming giant has no shortage of movies for film aficionados to enjoy.

This holds especially true for horror fans. For many, Netflix is the best place for horror this side of Shudder. Netflix often snags the distribution rights to some remarkable scary films, giving audiences plenty of options when they are in search of a fright. We're not even into October yet, and the service has already provided some of the most chilling films of the year already with the "Fear Street" trilogy and "Army of the Dead." The latest film to keep you up at night is 2020's "The Old Ways." It just dropped on the streaming service after its October 2020 premiere at Spain's Sitges Film Festival, and the suspenseful film has audiences on the edge of their seats.

The film follows Cristina Lopez (Brigette Kali Canales), a Mexican-American journalist who returns to her hometown near Veracruz to research a story on witchcraft. There, she is kidnapped by a group of locals, including a bruja (the Spanish word for witch), who believe her to be possessed by a demon. All the familiar beats of a classic demon possession movie are there, but with some sly twists, the film manages to embed itself within your mind. You can watch the trailer to see if it's up your alley as you witness Cristina fighting for her life — and struggling to know what's real.

The Old Ways is a terrifying and complex story

Right from the opening scene, you know you're in for a terrifying time. We get the chance to see an exorcism in action, and immediately after that, we see a woman with a bag over her head. You wind up being just as confused and terrified as Cristina, and that's when the big revelation takes place. Her cousin, Miranda (Andrea Cortés), and some of the townsfolk want to keep her restrained until they have an opportunity to remove the demon inside of her. Cristina may abide by modern sensibilities, but in this town, they adhere to the old ways.

The movie currently scores a very impressive 100% Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Michelle Swope of Dread Central praises the film for its "wicked practical effects," and how it "uses body horror as a way to represent Cristina's inner demons and her refusal to deal with them." Over at The Upcoming, Andrew Murray calls it "a highly entertaining new spin on the exorcism genre." 

"The Old Ways" is more than just your average horror film though; the film explores complex themes such as addiction, feeling like a stranger in your hometown, and loss of culture. The movie also highlights the unshakeable bond of family. In particular, Kat Hughes of The Hollywood News remarks on the film's exploration of the relationship between the captured Cristina and her estranged cousin, saying, "Watching these women attempt to reconnect, especially under extreme conditions, adds a necessary layer of warmth to what could be just another heartless and cold horror."

The perfect mix of body horror, exorcism, family drama, and thrilling suspense, "The Old Ways" is a must-watch — now streaming on Netflix.