OLD WAYS, THE
(director: Christopher Alender; screenwriter: Marcos Gabriel; cinematographer: Adam Lee; editor: Matt Blundell; music: Ben Lovett; cast: Brigitte Kali Canales (Cristina), Julia Vera (Luz), Sal Lopez (Javi), Andrea Cortés (Miranda), AJ Bowen (Carson), Weston Meredith (Postehki), Julian Lerma (The Boy), Elizabeth Phoenix Caro (Young Cristina), Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez (Cristina’s Mother); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Christa Boarini, T. Justin Ross, David Grove Churchill Viste: Netflix; 2021)
“Plays out as a Mexican version of The Exorcist.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Christopher Alender (“Memorial Day”) directs from Marcos Gabriel’s screenplay. The horror pic plays out as a Mexican version of The Exorcist.
A little girl named Cristina (Brigitte Kali Canales) watches her mother (Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez) being healed in an ancient ritual. Soon mom’s mouth emerges with shark teeth, and the girl starts screaming. Years later, the grownup little girl, Cristina (Brigitte Kali Canales), now a young adult, is tied to a chair with a bag over her head and a strange man called Javi (Sal Lopez) is in the room.
Cristina in a panic tells the stranger in English that she’s a Los Angeles journalist returning to Vera Cruz, Mexico to research an article on sorcery. Soon a scary old witch (Julia Vera), with a painted face, appears, and tells Cristina there’s a demon inside her that must be removed. With that, Javi pours a great amount of goat milk down her throat (Why not!).
Also in the room is Miranda (Andrea Cortés), Cristina’s cousin, who tells her that the witch and her son will exorcise a demon that has cursed their family. The witch will do the ritual the old fashioned way, one still followed in certain parts of Mexico (no priests here).
It’s a terrifying film, that in its boldness grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. It’s well executed, delivering all the chills this genre demands (such as the shocks, the vomiting out of goo and the eerie chants).
REVIEWED ON 10/13/2021 GRADE: B