Photo Source: Ready Steady Cut
From Stanley Kubrick’s 1999 thriller Eyes Wide Shut to YouTube’s phenomenon David Icke and his Reptilian aliens posing as monarchs and bankers, it is clear we live in a time that is fascinated by the idea of the Illuminati. Not mind you the historic, enlightenment-era Bavarian guild, rather a theory that the very wealthy and powerful are collectively oppressing humanity. The idea of the Illuminati suggests that not only is life unfair in a general impersonal way, but it is unfair because a group of very evil power-brokers want to make sure you cannot get ahead. In fact, many theorize today that not only does the Illuminati exist to retain power and remain exclusive, they have a sinister plot to use and abuse the masses. If you have not already, definitely spend an hour or so on YouTube with the search word "Illuminati." It is one of the more fascinating rabbit holes out there.
How was the Illuminati formed and why? How did a small group of people become so massively wealthy and powerful that their ancestors continue to live off of and use the wealth that was amassed so long ago? For some, David Icke’s answer that they are all powerful Reptilian aliens is not satisfactory, and while they can entertain the idea of the Illuminati existing, they are not quite ready to go there. Netflix’s new horror series Ares attempts to answer some of your Illuminati questions and offer a whole lot of ‘life inside the Illuminati’ drama (and horror). Ares was created by Pieter Kuijpers, Iris Otten, and Sunder Van Meurs. It comes from the Netherlands and is in Dutch with English subtitles. There are 8 episodes. It stars Lisa Smit as Carmen Zwanenburg, Tobias Kesloot as Jacob Wessels and Jade Oliebury as the lead character Rosa Steen. Ares was released on January 17, 2020.
Right off the bat, I will say that I absolutely loved Ares and will not include any spoilers. It’s too good; I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone. Normally, I am not a good with gore and horror, but Ares is so chic and moody and fascinating that I could not stop watching it. I even pushed through nightmares and finished the series. While it’s not a full-on slasher, there are incredibly effective moments of shocking gore. You will jump and cover your eyes. What makes Ares amazing is that it not only embraces the Illuminati, it reveals some of the dark sides of being on the inside. There is intimidation, competition, and oppression. They are required to live in a dormitory for a period. They wear color matching clothes that are provided for them and resemble extremely high-fashion school uniforms. There is a sense that fear and paranoia plague the members of the secret society of the very rich and powerful. Yet, it is a secret society of the rich and powerful, so it is also gorgeous, opulent, and incredibly sexy. I mean, why do people want to become rich and powerful in the first place?
Another interesting aspect in Ares is the self-conscious understanding of the old school Illuminati in needing a new path—a new way in order to survive. In comes the lead Rosa Steen. Sadly, she begins to learn that the key paths that could lead her to greatness are not open to a girl like her. In a surprise move however, a mysterious, ultra-elite college club offers her a chance to join and become one of them. She eagerly joins, and we are all taken on one gory, incredible ride.
Jennifer Barnick is a painter and writer. She studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She founded Twenty-two Twenty-eight. “One of the most exciting aspects of Twenty-two Twenty-eight is building a channel for artists and writers to share their work with the world.”
Check out Jennifer’s book. You can read the first short story for free on Amazon here.