No streaming platform can compete with Netflix when it comes to producing fresh and exciting original content. The streaming platform’s stronghold on the industry has been possible because of its original releases which attract worldwide attention, awards, and tons of praise from critics.
‘Ares’ is Netflix’s first original series from the Netherlands and has been created by the critically acclaimed Dutch filmmaker Pieter Kuijpers. The story of ‘Ares’ centers around the sibling duo, Rosa and Jacob, who join the eponymous secret Dutch cult.
As they learn more about the history of this cult, they realize that a lot of it is derived from the secrets of the Dutch Golden Age. This cult is a hotbed of some of the wealthiest and most powerful students of the country, but they practice demonic activities and deal with stuff that might put the world in grave danger.
The cinematography and some parts of the series draw inspiration from Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut‘, which is also about a secret cult. If you have enjoyed watching ‘Ares’, here are some other shows you might want to check out. You can find many of them on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. The Path (2016-2018)
A Hulu original series, ‘The Path‘ stars Aaron Paul as Eddie Lane, a family man who is a member of a secret cult called the Meyerist Movement, along with his wife. The cult is led by a rather enigmatic leader whose teachings draw heavily from shamanism, Scientology, aspects of Christian mysticism, and so on.
When Eddie is sent on a trip to Peru, he returns with disbelief in Meyerism’s teachings but worries that his relationship with his wife might suffer because of the same. This series quite intelligently demonstrates how belief or faith constructs a huge amount of who we are and also talks about the need to question things that we have been taught to accept at face value.
6. Waco (2018)
Based on real events, this 2018 miniseries gives a real-life example of how faith can lead us to the deadliest extremes. The series documents the infamous 1993 standoff between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the Branch Davidians, a cult led by one David Koresh.
The armed standoff carried on for 51 days before a fire engulfed the Davidians’ compound and killed many of its members. While the cast members pull off their characters with panache, the storytelling does not manage to be quite as insightful as it could have.
5. Deadly Class (2019)
In a similar vein as ‘Ares’, ‘Deadly Class‘ is a series that mostly deals with students of a special kind. The central character of this series is a young boy called Marcus who gets admitted to a rather elite school, only to realize that children of the world’s most infamous criminals study here.
As he tries to accept his fate, Marcus is thrown into a world where danger lurks around every corner. The show uses its setting of the 1980s counterculture to great effect. The series is spooky in certain parts but does not have the required factors to make it into a standout experience for viewers.
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4. Aquarius (2016)
Charles Manson is, without a doubt, the most famous cult leader and murderer of the 20th century. His cult, the Manson family, famously carried out the Tate-LaBianca murders in August 1969 which sent shockwaves across America and the world.
This 2016 miniseries created by John McNamara places a fictional police officer in LA during the time when the Manson family was gathering momentum. He is out there to look for a missing girl whom he finds among Manson’s followers. The best thing about this miniseries is that it manages to capture the essence of the 1960s within the scope of its narrative.
3. Cult (2013)
Despite being canceled only after the first season, the concept of this series is so unique that it does deserve our acknowledgment. The series centers around a fictional TV show also called ‘Cult’ which has managed to garner extremist followers who are taking everything happening within the show quite literally.
As journalist Jeff Sefton and the show’s production researcher Skye dig into the fans and their actions, they see a gruesome picture unfolding. The series brilliantly uses the concept of a cult in a multi-layered manner which is rather unique in its own way.
2. The Following (2013-2015)
A Fox original show, ‘The Following’ tells the story of FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), who is after a serial killer called Joe Carroll (James Purefoy). However, the biggest problem in capturing Carroll is the fact that he is now the leader of a murderous cult, and any threat to his life would have cataclysmic repercussions.
The series follows the exploits of Carroll’s cult while also detailing the ways in which Hardy tries to get to this charismatic criminal. ‘The Following’ is bold and visceral, and unlike anything that Fox has ever associated itself with. The performances by Bacon and Purefoy are simply masterful.
1. Mr. Robot (2015-2019)
Although ‘Mr. Robot‘ is not essentially about a cult, the secret anarchist organization depicted in the series functions just like one. The series is centered around a cybersecurity engineer called Elliot Alderson who is contacted by an anarchist hacking team that is determined to take down the biggest corporations in the world.
The enigmatic leader of this secret society, the eponymous Mr. Robot, seems to have a deeper connection with Alderson which gets clearer as the series progresses. A superb performance by Rami Malek is the best aspect of ‘Mr. Robot’. The show deals boldly with fringe political ideas and incorporates them smoothly within its narrative.
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