Netflix’s first Dutch Horror cult drama dabbles in colonialism, mystery, guilt, and shame.
After having binge watched a total of 8 episodes of the first Netflix Original in Dutch, it is safe to say that I am spooked, confused, and deep in self reflection. Yes, Ares would most definitely do that to you.
Ares Season 1 kicks off with a montage of a university girl who seemingly becomes a part of a secret society, falls in love with her professor, literally gouges her eyes out in the middle of room with people. Well, that is enough to show the viewers that they are about to witness something sinister, dark, shockingly evil, and wildly dirty.
Ares is a Dutch horror series that takes psychological terrors to the next level and creates a sense of self that one could not have thought of. When you’re done watching Episode 8, it’ll probably leave you thinking about what just happened.
Ares Season 1 follows the story of Rosa, an ambitious bi-racial medical student who gets recruited into a secret society that is run by high-class rich people of Amsterdam. Till the time she realises that she’s gotten into something dangerous, it is too late. Will she be able to make the right choices? Or will she succumb to the lure of greater things and regret later?
Ares is a secret organisation that has been running for years. The society is a demonic cult that thrives on some really dark secrets. Built on the foundations of colonialism, it is by the end of Ares season 1 that you’ll make sense of it all. The story is slow paced and sometimes indulges a tad bit extra in the character melodrama forgetting the main plot.
However, it gets a hold of itself mid season and reveals some deliciously dark secrets. The society feeds a black tar like character called Beal to keep thriving.
The Beal is a personification of the society’s evil trasgressions and its slave trade business that started years ago. The members feed the Beal with “offerings” and continue doing their dark work. “Beal is a story we tell the rest of our members. Something to fear,” Maurits tells Rosa. It is nothing but a well of a black tar like substance that people vomit into to get rid of their guilts.
This has been happening for over 500 centuries. “We use this to make decisions others aren’t capable of,” Maurits explains to Rosa. “So we can be the leaders this country needs. And leadership requires sacrifices”. The undertone of his statement justifies all the acts of brutality as sacrifices that the elders and the present generations of Netherland have been committing to in order to keep the country rich and prosperous.
Ares season 1 ends with Rosa taking a plunge in the black pool and emerging out as fearless as ever instead of feeding the pool with her guilt. While she walks out covered in black, the members are terrified and some succumb to suicide, while some try to outrun her for she is the embodiment of their dark deeds. The viewers are treated to a scene with bodies lying lifeless and blood splattered everywhere.
Will this lead to Amsterdam’s demise?
The date for season 2 hasn’t been announced yet. However, with how Ares season 1 ended, there’s a lot that will happen in the second season of this horror cult drama. If I speculate the destiny of Netherland, the rich are in for trouble.
Rosa might not be Rosa anymore. Or will she somehow rid herself from being the vessel to all the guilt and shame hovering over centuries? The show ends on a cliffhanger. We can only wait and see how it all turns out.
The article is written by – Priyadarshni Bishnoi