Alice Oscura – Featured Writer
Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead
The Paramedic (El Practicante) is a Spanish thriller released by Netflix and directed by Carles Torras. A paramedic named Ángel Hernandez (Mario Casas) displays some very suspicious behaviour in that he likes to take souvenirs from the scenes that he has responded to. He pawns a few items and keeps others locked in his wardrobe.
Ángel is not a particularly good listener to his co-worker, Ricardo (Guillermo Pfening), he is not a very understanding nor tolerant neighbour, and he projects his fertility issues unto his girlfriend Vane (Déborah François). From the beginning it is extremely clear that Ángel is not a good person and that he may be what is known as a functioning sociopath and narcissist. He seems to do an excellent job at masking his darkness at first. That is until an unexpected accident takes place in the line of duty that ends up with him becoming paralyzed. And then he can no longer contain his darkness, especially when his relationship with Vane crumbles.
The film may bear similarities to other thrillers where captivity is involved, for instance Stephen King’s Misery or Gerald’s Game, but the set up is where the resemblance ends. Ángel’s character is so bloody unlikable that there are times where the movie itself drags, and I for one became very uninterested in the filler scenes that show him going to therapy and struggling with rehabilitation and pain management.
The girlfriend Vane seemed to hold my attention whenever she was onscreen because the actress did a great job with what I deemed as an extremely predictable and mediocre script. We are left feeling a total lack of sympathy for the main character even when his situation develops from bad to worse. There are also times that the film hits some extremely frustrating marks in my opinion and I found it a bit hard to trudge through to completion.
It misses all the markers for being a good thrillers. Now don’t get me wrong, it does start off potentially strong in at least the first half, but it fails to keep up the momentum in the latter half and the ending scene is a bit weird. I have some mixed feelings towards it and although I kind of understand what they were going for, the practicality of it just cannot compute in my mind for some reason.
Would I recommend it to you guys? Probably not, just because there are way better captivity there out there done by the masters Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock if you want to see something that really boggles the mind and gives you that sense of thrills at the very edge of your seat. But if you still want to check out The Paramedic don’t say I didn’t warn you about this one!
Alice’s Score: 4 out of 10
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.
I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.