Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Plot: An Amsterdam student joins a secret society that has been around since the Dutch Golden Age, but must decide how far she is willing to go to rise up the ranks.
Warning: Mild Spoilers Ahead
Review: Recently I’ve been buckling down and making a real effort to watch the shows and movies that I’ve added to “My List”, which for those of you out there who isn’t a Netflix subscriber is simply a way to save stuff you plan on watching at a later date.
If you’re anything like me, your list is probably bloated with stuff you tagged and then quickly forgot about. But it’s a New Year so I decided it was time to do some spring cleaning (or just “cleaning” as we don’t have Spring here in Trinidad) and that brings me to Ares Season 1, a show with a lot of flaws, but an ending so bat sh— crazy, I just had to discuss it with you guys.
So quick rundown — A young med student named Rosa discovers her best friend Jacob is part of a secret society called Ares (pronounced AR-IS) comprised of the wealthiest families of the Netherlands. She wants in as her own life is decidedly not an opulent one, and in joining them she discovers this secret society is less Freemason and more supernatural nightmare fuel.
So let’s get the negatives out of the way first. This show takes a minute to get going. I would say the first three episodes play out more like your typical Elites versus Ordinary People and, with the exception of the very brutal opening introduction, you would never guess Ares had any horrific or supernatural aspects to it.
Rosa is also not the easiest protagonist to root for. She comes across as equal parts egotistical and selfish with a dash of “know-it-all” thrown in for good measure. None of the other characters feel truly fleshed out and, with the exception of the aforementioned Jacob, you never really get to know anyone with any true depth for the entire season.
This series is Dutch and I watched the English dubbed version, with subtitles for extra points, but like most foreign language shows on Netflix both of these things can be iffy, and I feel like some emotional stuff tends to get lost in translation.
All that aside, Ares has a solid aura of horror and an interesting enough mystery to keep you hooked. The cinematography is polished and, while not a slasher, there are a steady stream of shocking deaths here to keep any horror fan entertained. Which brings me to the insanity that unfolds in the conclusion of this first season.
I love a good mystery and the way the final episode unfolds does leave you with more questions than answers, but that’s a good thing because Ares does have a second season coming, and this is the kind of storytelling that tends to bring viewers back for more.
I’ll avoid heavy spoilers for those who may want to check this one out, though I will note that Rosa makes some dark choices in her journey towards gaining the power and wealth that made her join Ares, but at a very heavy cost. Loads of people die in horrific ways, and what was once the source of their power (and the reason given for the Netherlands being such a small country, yet with so much wealth) turns on them in the worse way possible. Let me put it this way, what if all the bad things you’ve done, took on a physical form? What would that look like, and what if you could wield all that guilt and pain like a superpower? That’s kind of what happens here and let’s just say, it hasn’t just hit the fan for the members of Ares, it’s wallpapered the whole damn house!
This series is a mixed bag with just enough interesting parts to keep this viewer on board. And though the premiere date of Ares Season 2 is still to be announced, it’s looking like we should get some answers later this year (hopefully). So stay tuned!
Sommer’s Score: 6 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
Double Tap Baby!