The Wasteland aka The Beast aka El Páramo is a Spanish horror thriller on Netflix. David Casademunt directed the film and wrote the story along with Martí Lucas and Fran Menchón. The film stars Inma Cuesta (Lucía), Roberto Álamo (Salvador) and Asier Flores (Diego). The music is by Diego Navarro, and the cinematography is by Isaac Vila. The film is 90 minutes approx. The film is dubbed in British English (with subtitles) for non-Spanish speakers.
The synopsis for Netflix’s The Wasteland 2022 reads, “A 19th-century family living in seclusion is visited by an evil being that feeds on fear. Can little Diego save his mother from the beast — and herself?”
Netflix’s The Wasteland Review Contains No Spoilers
At the beginning of the Netflix Spanish horror film The Wasteland, aka El Páramo, we see some text. The text mentions that in the 19th century, due to constant deadly wars, families and individuals decided to live in isolated places. The concept of the neighbourhood didn’t exist. In the film, we meet Lucía and Salvador and their 9-10 years old son, Diego.
Salvador has made bars around the house. The family isn’t supposed to cross the bars. They say that whoever crosses them gets killed by the bad people. For survival, the family sometimes eat vegetables or rabbits from their coop. At the beginning of the film, Salvador tries to train his young son to kill a rabbit and use a gun. Lucía is against her husband teaching these violent survival skills to her son.
One night, Salvador tells Diego the story of a beast attacking people who fear it. He reveals that his sister had seen the beast when she was young. Before Salvador can finish the story, Lucía stops him. She is very protective of her son. But everything changes when Salvador heads out to get some supplies. Lucía turns into a completely different person. She believes someone’s trying to attack them. What is the big threat that’s looming around the isolated house? Will Lucía and Diego save themselves? Will Salvador return on time to save his family? You find all the answers in the end.
The film The Wasteland, aka El Páramo, is more about the despair and madness due to isolation. The war is already giving nightmares to people. So at times, it feels like Lucía is making up whatever she claims to see. The transformation in her personality is drastic. The protector becomes the enabler of violence. She leaves no chance to call her kid ‘coward’ multiple times.
Just like Diego, you are confused and shocked to witness what Lucía has turned into. Like the kid, we seek answers and try to see what the mother has been seeing. It’s the secrecy, whether the evil exists or not, that keeps you glued to the screen. The horror isn’t frightening. But the story and screenplay are solid and keep you engaged till the end. There are some blood/flesh scenes. But nothing very gruesome.
The setting of the house, the hopelessness in the air, the sepia tones, the focus on every object inside and outside the house, the still shots add enough to the creepiness. The performances also make the film an absorbing watch. Actor Inma Cuesta as Lucía is brilliant. The smooth and terrifying transition in her performance is commendable. Child actor Asier Flores as Diego does a great job showing concern, fear, curiosity and bravery. Actor Roberto Álamo plays his part as Salvador well.
The Wasteland Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, the latest Netflix Spanish horror film is an interesting take on the unrest caused due to isolation and fear. The story keeps you hooked till the end. The performances are a winner.
The film is now streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.