El páramo [The Squad] (2011)

El páramo
Director: Jaime Osorio Marquez
Writer: Jaime Osorio Marquez, Diego Vivanco, Tania Cardenas
Cast: Juan Pablo Barragan, Alejandro Aguilar, Mauricio Navas, Juan David Restrepo, Andrés Castañeda, Nelson Camayo, Julio César Valencia, Daniela Catz
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
After years of battling guerillas, a squad of soldiers arrives at a base that has been incommunicado for a while. They are supposed to check in on them and see what’s going on, but as soon as they arrive there they notice that something is very wrong. The base seems abandoned, there’s blood and destruction everywhere and all they can find is a woman (Daniela Catz) who has been walled up, surrounded by supernatural paraphenilia.

The squad starts off atmospheric and tight, but unfortunately it can’t keep that up and descends into boredom with a very healthy dose of misogyny.

[SPOILERS]

The ending of the film is a bit ambigious, leaving it open whether the woman was really a witch or only a mute victim of the circumstances who just happens to trigger the paranoia and self-destruction of two different squads of soldiers. Nevermind that the former seems more likely than the latter, no matter which interpretation you use, the woman as the root of all evil message remains the same – if she’s a witch, she does it on purpose, if she isn’t then that’s just what happens when a woman gets involved. Both messages are equally deplorable and misogynistic.

At least I lost interest in the film so very quickly (and never found it again) that at the point where the film descends into misogyny, I really wasn’t emotionally invested anymore, so I didn’t have the energy to get really angry about it.

And of course it was all filmed with shaky cam, which just fucking drives me insane. Camera people really need to get over it. Humanity as a whole should be done with this shit.

The entire film was just slow and boring and whenever things heated up a bit, the camera started shaking like mad, so you didn’t get to see what happened anyway. That’s not what I watch a film for.

Summarising: Nope.

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