Quicksand (2023) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Quicksand (2023) Review

Horrorific content by christina on August 30th, 2023 | Movie Review | Slow Burn, Survival, Wilderness, Thriller, Dysfunctional Family, Wildlife, Dangerous Exploration, B-Horror

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It's about a married couple on the brink of divorce who become trapped in quicksand while hiking through a Colombian rainforest, and who must struggle for survival as they battle the elements of the jungle together in order to escape.

Quicksand was directed by Andres Beltran (Tarumama) and stars Carolina GaitánAllan Hawco (The Breach, The Child Remains, and The Third Eye), Sebastián Eslava, and Andrés Castañeda.

Quicksand Review

In the realm of cinema, there's a particular juncture in this movie where our focal characters, predictably trapped in the clutches of quicksand (if the film's title didn't already hint at that), strive to prevent each other from succumbing to unconsciousness. An ironic twist underlines this scene – succumbing to a movie-induced slumber might be an appealing alternative, ensuring a quicker end to the cinematic ordeal.

At its core, Quicksand's concept isn't fundamentally flawed. It concerns a former physician's expedition to her Colombian homeland to deliver a conference address. Accompanying her is her soon-to-be-divorced spouse. During their leisure day, they venture into the rainforests around Bogotá, reminiscent of their youthful escapades. Yet, an unfortunate turn of events finds them staring down the barrel of a gun, leading to a desperate struggle and trapping them in a morass of viscous quicksand. Thus, the fundamental question emerges: Can they navigate this ordeal and escape the unforgiving embrace of nature, or will their plight conclude in an untimely demise?

The essence of the filmmakers' intentions is discernible. With a sub-90-minute runtime and a title like "Quicksand," it's evident that the film adheres to the constraints of a low-budget, tightly woven independent thriller. The storyline primarily centers on survival within a confined space, replete with assorted trials to stretch the narrative. The audience anticipates an eventual resolution, where at least one character emerges from their predicament. The framework closely mirrors Kurt Vonnegut's "man-in-hole" narrative structure. In theory, this setup could yield a riveting, tension-filled cinematic experience. After all, even the "Saw" franchise's origins lay in a simple question: How can we confine two individuals to a single setting throughout the film due to budgetary constraints?

Nonetheless, this instance abandons tautness, intrigue, and entertainment ideals. The dialogue serves as a glaring example. Laden with explicit exposition, it often resembles a script for a radio drama, where characters elucidate every detail to the listeners. Although such dialogue could be bearable if engaging, most revolve around the constant bickering and trite quarrels of our supposed "heroes." The emotional resonance is conspicuously absent. Furthermore, their predicament – trapped in mud – exhibits an inconsistent physicality that seems contingent on the storyline's demands.

Occasionally, faint glimmers of potential emanate from the direction. A notable instance involves a deft use of a knife to reveal a snake stealthily encroaching on Sofia, a symbolism reminiscent of Medusa, although its relevance remains unclear. This enigmatic motif paints her as a modern-day Columbian Perseus, albeit without sufficient justification. A missed opportunity arises – if her husband Josh, also mired in the muck, held a genuine interest in mythology, his passion might have spurred her transformation into a resilient force. Her connection to his beloved legends could have offered inspiration, perhaps even intertwining with Colombian folklore to infuse depth into the narrative, albeit devoid of supernatural manifestations.

Worth Watching?

Alas, such prospects remain unrealized. Instead, the film languishes in mundanity, an unremarkable existence doomed to obscurity in the annals of cinematic history. There's an ironic symmetry to this fate – a movie trapped in a quagmire of monotony, spiraling toward oblivion.

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