Quicksand begins with a panicked man fearfully running around a forest armed with a shotgun. Joining him is another mysterious man, perhaps his partner in crime. The two have been attempting to steal snake skins worth a significant amount of money, more valuable than any scam they would typically try and pull off. Naturally, things don’t end well here, and something tragic occurs.
After this, we meet a married couple (played by Carolina Gaitan and Allan Hawco) who have travelled to Colombia to speak at a conference. As they arrive at their hotel, we understand the pair have friction and are ready to separate. With spare time to kill until they are required to speak, the pair decide to hike in a rainforest. However, as they begin their hike, a large storm surges. After a disagreement, they eventually return to their vehicle to try and go home, only to find that someone is trying to break into it. After an altercation with a mysterious car thief, they hide in the woods, but sadly, things only worsen when one falls into a pit of quicksand and begins to drown. Thankfully, the other jumps in to rescue them, but they are both trapped and stuck. Now, they must put their differences aside and work together to somehow escape the quicksand and a giant, deadly snake slithering nearby. Can this pair work together to survive the ultimate danger and threat?
Quicksand is best described as a thriller with some minor moments of horror mixed in. While the film focuses on our leading couple stuck in quicksand, it takes time to introduce its characters. We are given a great understanding of each character, including their personalities, and we fully understand their opinions of each other.
To its credit, the film does introduce a fantastic concept with several dangers surrounding our leads. The concept and plot are easily the film’s most excellent aspects. The primary location and the dangerous moments are also intriguing. Given the plot and storyline, the visuals and tones are appreciated, and everything here feels suitable and pleasing. The snake lurking around our leads is another solid praise point, and aspects of creativity are appreciated.
While performances were generally acceptable, the film’s leading characters are not likeable. Right from the beginning, both characters continually make poor choices, constantly disagree, argue, and even bicker during some horrifying situations. While they are running away from danger and trying to go somewhere safe, this couple spends far too much time bickering or blaming one another. Moments like this are exhausting for a viewer to witness. As harsh as it sounds, I would understand if some audiences decided to cheer for the quicksand or the deadly snake to put this couple out of their misery.
Overall, Quicksand brings a new horrifying concept with challenges and problems to life. The visuals and tones are pleasing, and witnessing a deadly snake lurking around a couple stuck in quicksand is fun. However, for the most part, the film is slow and drawn out, including the final moments, and while the performances are satisfactory, the biggest letdown is the characters. I found them difficult to support, and they either constantly make poor choices or bicker and blame each other over the many issues and problems they encounter. Call me cruel, but some viewers may choose to cheer on the snake.
Quicksand (2023) is Available on Shudder from July 14th!