When the communications of a remote military base goes down and which is situated in a region where guerilla activity is quite intense, a unit of soldiers are sent in to investigate why contact was lost. Once the experienced soldiers finally get to Knife Peak though, they are confronted with a graveyard of despair as they see what has happened to their comrades. The only person who knows what happened is a woman that’s been walled in, but she says nothing and eventually escapes. The military log tells us that she’s a witch, which adds to the paranoia and fear of the soldiers. Soon this becomes too much to handle and the soldiers become both prey and predator…
The Squad or El Paramo is a high tension film that will keep the viewer in suspense for quite a while as the story slowly unfolds. We are confronted not only by a mystery of “where did they go”, but also face the sub-plot of “what happened” as these soldiers carry a secret with them. Unfortunately there re a lot of loose ends, but these loose ends only add to the mysteriousness of the film. First time director, Jaime Osorio Marquez did a brilliant job in capturing the elements that makes a thriller a good thriller and I’m inclined to say that Juan Pablo Barragan(Ponce) did a magnificent job in convincing the viewer what type of character he was playing.
Other than that, an atmosphere was created to keep viewers watching continuously, with a supernatural feeling lingering in the air and the probable psychosis growing in the soldiers, what more can a horror fan want? There’s gore, there’s death, there’s action and what’s more is that there is enough crazy to make you wonder for long after the film has ended. However, keeping in mind that this is a foreign film, there were a few mistakes in the subtitles that I picked up, but it would not hinder the viewer in such a manner as to make The Squad un-watchable. I personally liked how you never knew what will happen next. Sometimes it was very anticlimactic, but other times it was quite fun.
Now, this is not a film for the faint of heart. It’s not completely a horror movie, but it does have the elements to make you all shivery and stuff. There are instances when it gets slightly graphic too, which will not help if you have a weak stomach (especially when you need to read subtitles). Fortunately, if you do have a bit of courage and you’re in the mood for something that’ll give you the willies, then look no further than The Squad.