Foreign horror films are among my favorite of all in the genre. From great French horror like Inside and High Tension to Asian horror like A Tale of Two Sisters and Thirst to Australian horror like Wolf Creek and The Loved Ones. Spanish horror films have their esteemed place in horror as well with films like The Orphanage and the [rec] series. A new film joins its Spanish friends this week with the new film, The Squad.
When all contact is lost with a high plains military base in Colombia, an experienced team of nine soldiers are sent in to see what happened. Fearing a Guerrilla attack, the soldiers find the base shrouded in fog and home to only one person: a peasant woman heavily secured in one room. As time passes the isolation of the base and the inability to communicate with others begins taking its effect on the men as they slowly begin to unravel and question who exactly the captured woman is and what she may know about the disappearance of the bases original occupants.
The Squad is definitely a slow burn horror that is heavy on atmosphere and that is not a bad thing. The direction by first time director Jaime Osorio Marquez is deliberate and precise and every frame of the film is filled with uncertainty and dread. The whole cast is excellent with their portrayals of fear and unravelling being totally believable. And that uncertainty is one of the things that really makes The Squad unique. The woman is introduced into the story and for much of the running time we really don’t know anything about her yet the characters make assumptions based on their own fears and start acting on them. It is an interesting character dynamic as many films would have one of the group start going crazy whereas in The Squad the whole teams starts falling apart. When the reveals do come they are bizarre and quite unnerving and much credit should be given to Jaime Osorio Marquez for not only writing an interesting story but taking it visually to the places he does.
The Blu-ray from Shout Factory is very nice. For a low budget feature the setting is very authentic looking and the production design is very good. The Blu-ray transfer is sharp and clear with an atmospheric and haunting audio track. For something different and unsettling, give The Squad a try.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.