Is Below Zero a True Story?

‘Below Zero’ is a Spanish thriller film that follows the compelling and harrowing story of a law-abiding police officer who is attacked by an unknown assailant while transferring six convicts from one prison to another. Martin is a cop who likes to follow the rules but his new partner, Montesinos, likes to play fast and loose with the rules. When their truck carrying six prisoners – a ragtag assortment of criminals with varying degrees of menace – is stopped because of an accident, Montesinos goes out to inspect and is shot dead by a sniper. Realizing that they’ve stumbled into an ambush, Martin locks himself in the prisoners’ compartment, but chaos ensues when the criminals are freed from their holding cells.

When their attacker on the outside demands that they hand over one of the convicts, it’s up to Martin to ensure that all of the convicts remain safe and safely locked up, even as they put his own safety under serious threat. Curious to know if the story of ‘Below Zero’ is based in reality? Here’s what we know.

Is Below Zero Based on a True Story?

No, ‘Below Zero’ is not based on a true story. The makers of this Spanish-language thriller have never claimed that the story of ‘Below Zero’ has any basis in reality or is inspired by any real-life events. Having said that, we did find a number of similar real-life cases that reflect the happenings of ‘Below Zero.’

In the movie, the mysterious attacker who commits many murders in his goal to reach Nano is a former policeman named Miguel. When we researched about former cops who became murderers, we were quite shocked to learn about the Golden State Killer, who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s. It turns out that the Golden State Killer was a former police officer by the name of Joseph James DeAngelo, responsible for a string of murders, rapes, and burglaries.

But in ‘Below Zero,’ Miguel’s motivations are somewhat understandably vengeful. He wants Nano alive because Nano is the person who raped and killed Miguel’s 13-year-old daughter and hid her body somewhere only he knew. Miguel wants Nano to tell him where his daughter’s body is, and of course, he also wants to exact revenge for what Nano did to his daughter. During our research, we found several cases wherein fathers took justice into their own hands in order to avenge their children.

In 2002, a distraught father in Kerala, India, killed the man who was out on bail after being convicted for the rape and murder of his 13-year-old daughter. In 2012, a Texas man was not legally charged after he killed his 5-year-old daughter’s rapist. There are numerous more such incidents all over the world that mirror the actions and motivations of Miguel in ‘Below Zero’. While the exact story of ‘Below Zero’ is just fiction, the film’s underlying emotions are sadly ever-present in reality.

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