Javier Gutierrez as policeman in Below Zero. Credit: Netflix

New Spanish action thriller on Netflix, Below Zero, follows the story of a police officer who has to figure out how to get out of a dangerous situation, with a number of criminals in the back of his van (contains spoilers).

Lluis Quilez’s film was released at the end of January and has already made it into some of the top 10 lists on Netflix.

The film begins in a dark setting and jumps straight into the action, beginning with the same tense atmosphere which is carried throughout.

Javier Gutiérrez (also known for his role in The Occupant) plays police officer, Martin, and when things start to go wrong, he has to make the decision of whether to release the dangerous criminals or suffer on his own.

Throughout the film, the constant battle of power is presented effectively. It starts with the expected police vs criminals but once attacker Miguel, played by Karra Elejalde (also starred in While at War) makes himself known, the policemen have to work with the criminals to get themselves out of the situation.

There are so many twists and turns in the film and, as an audience member, you are always kept engaged, despite the main parts of the film being shot in a police van.

The variety of characters and personalities of them, makes you find yourself almost sympathising with the criminals.

Miguel has lots of moments of silence throughout the film which creates an intimidating atmosphere and makes you question what his next move will be.

Suspense is something which is seen across many scenes in the film. There are quite a few fights which take place, between various characters and you never know when they are going to end, if someone is going to end up dead and who is going to turn on someone next.

There are a lot of deaths throughout the film but Quilez keeps it engaging and there is a journey throughout the film seen through different characters telling their story, creating a better understanding for the audience.

I think the film is acted well and it’s one you want to stay focused on for the whole duration so I would definitely recommend it.

By Emma de Duve