‘Quicksand’ is a Colombian mystery thriller film streaming on Shudder. Directed by Andres Beltran, the film stars Carolina Gaitán and Allan Hawco in the central roles. The script, written by Matt Pitts, follows a married couple on the brink of a divorce. While the couple travels to Columbia for a work conference, they end up getting trapped in quicksand while hiking through its rainforests.

The film largely follows the couple’s struggle to get out of this literal quicksand while dwelling upon their fear, resentment, and share of repressed, unexpressed thoughts in their minds.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Quicksand (2023) ‘Shudder’ Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is Quicksand on Shudder about?

Quicksand begins with a scene of an armed man traveling through a dense forest, scared to his wits. He suddenly gets a tap on his shoulder from Diego (Andrés Castañeda), who says that they should stick together. The man, however, is scared about the place they have entered and wishes to escape. He does not care about the snakeskin poaching that Diego is concerned with. While he runs away from Diego, he finds himself slipping on mud, falling next to a dead body.

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The script then pivots to the story of a couple visiting a Columbia hotel. Josh (Allan Hawco) asks Sofia (Carolina Gaitán) about her past experiences from there. She refuses to indulge in details and rather asks him about a phone recharge so that she can speak with their kids back home. The emotional distance between them becomes clear within moments of their interaction. Finally, in the hotel, Marcos (Sebstatian Eslava) greets them. He notes the need for healthcare workers in Columbia and thanks Sofia for deciding to come.

Marcos had planned a way for the couple to spend more time together before Sofia’s work conference. What he did not know was that the couple had already planned to get a divorce. They remain distant even when they go to their hotel room. Later that night, the two have dinner with Marcos. Sofia notes how she stopped eating meat after she gave birth to their kid. Marcos still continues to eat his food, which troubles her. Soon after, Marcos asks Josh to go together for hiking. Sofia says she would also like to come, which Josh finds a bit strange.

Hiking through the Rainforests

Once Sofia leaves the table, Josh reveals they are getting separated. He seems particularly hurt by the end of their relationship but finds it unavoidable. The next day, Sofia decides to go hiking by herself. Josh shows concern for her safety. So, she agrees to let him join her. They speak with the concierge to understand the route. He warns them not to enter a specifically dangerous area – Las Arenas, due to the threat of unsteady lands and snakes. Sofia agrees they should avoid that path even if it can potentially save them some time.

Once the couple leaves, the concierge looks to Diego, after which he leaves. Meanwhile, Josh drives Sofia to La Chorrrera. They get down from the car and start hiking steadily through the fauna. They hardly say a word to each other throughout their journey. Eventually, Josh starts getting a bit uneasy due to the high altitude. He notices the skies getting overcast and plans to return. Josh believes it would be too risky to keep going on, considering the possibility of rain.

The couple returns to the car to find a man, i.e., Diego, standing beside it. So, Josh tells Sofia to hide until he speaks with this man. He notices that Diego is armed and tries to settle the situation. Diego asks for money, and Josh refuses to share. He even lies that Sofia did not join him for the hike. But seeing that irate Diego, Sofia shows her face. Since the situation starts getting out of their hands, they throw their bag in Diego’s face to save themselves.

Sofia notices a board pointing toward Las Arenas. She suggests going there since Marcos would not enter the potentially risky area. Josh initially opposes but agrees to hide there for the time being. She gets angry at him for always wanting to be a hero. Since they hear the shots being fired, Sofia runs toward Las Arenas. She suddenly finds herself incredibly dizzy and disoriented. She loses consciousness and regains it after a while. After walking for a bit, she finds herself caught in a quicksand.

Literal Quicksand

Quicksand (2023) Movie Ending Explained
A still from Quicksand (2023)

Josh runs around to trace Sofia’s location. He suddenly notices her caught in the mud and runs toward her. He decides to help her get out with a stick. But it breaks in the middle, and she keeps sinking deeper and deeper. The quicksand eventually engulfs her. As a result, Josh decides to jump in it himself. As a result, they both remain stuck inside. Josh tries to think logically to pull themselves out of the mess. Sofia, meanwhile, senses something stuck underneath. She pulls it out to find a dead body.

Josh takes out a gun from underneath and a bag. They push the body back and then go through his bag. He wonders what this man was trying to hunt in this place. Besides, he tries to figure out a way to get out. To help with it, Josh asks Sofia to create a lasso by cutting the bag. That way, they can throw it out to a rock and pull themselves out.

While the couple remains stuck there, Marcos gets increasingly worried about them having gone missing. He notices Diego wearing Josh’s bag in the hotel lobby and confronts him. The security soon tries to break their fight but ends up putting both in custody. Marcos questions Diego to learn that the couple is in Las Arenas. It puts their lives in extreme danger. He then asks the manager to get him out of the custody.

Meanwhile, Sofia throws the lasso out and realizes it is shorter than required. Josh offers to add his jacket to help. He tries to be optimistic that people will be looking for them even when she isn’t. Soon after, they notice a helicopter flying over their head. They both shout to attract attention but fail for obvious reasons. So, Sofia decides to light a fire to bring them to notice. But Josh is against burning the only thing they have to save themselves.

Seeing Sofia lose hope, Josh tries to cheer her up. Suddenly, ants start biting her body. He offers some vodka to pout over her bites to ease the burning sensation. He reveals that he had that bottle with him even though he told her he had been sober. Josh says he succumbed to it because of stress related to work and their relationship. Eventually, she feels they should have used the gun to gain the helicopter’s attention. So now, she asks him to hand over the gun.

While loading it, Sofia notices a snake crawling from Josh’s back. She notices the egg and figures that this mother is trying to protect her child. Josh motivates her to shoot the snake. Despite her initial fear, Sofia manages to do so. By that time, the snake bites Josh with its venom.

Josh starts panicking, and Sofia tries to calm him down. She tries to make him breathe slower to prolong his life until he gets some treatment. At the time, they get a chance to contemplate their choices in their recent past. They both realize their mistakes and apologize to one another. Since the venom starts spreading through his body, she cuts his clot before it worsens. Despite his reluctance, she goes on to cut it with a knife. After that, they both get dizzy and numb. But it helps improve Josh’s situation.

Quicksand (2023) ‘Shudder’ Movie Ending Explained:

Do Sofia and Josh manage to safely escape the quicksand?

Metaphorical Quicksand

After about an hour of Sofia’s help, Josh wakes up. He thanks her for not losing hope in him. They go back to speaking about their lives and their emotional struggles. She notes how she wanted to do this lecture to regain confidence in herself. He regrets not appreciating the sacrifices she made to work out their marriage. While still hoping the lasso will save them, she notices a snake crawling toward her. It reaches her and chokes her up, almost to death.

Josh, who was unconscious at the time, manages to stab it with a knife and save her. She uses the snake’s body to elongate the lasso to get out of the mud. After excruciating pain and effort, she manages to get herself out. She then tries to give him a hand to get out. But he says she should go, save herself and leave him there. Sofia tries to find a safe escape route without getting stuck in any other quicksand. By late at night, Marcos and the authorities manage to reach there and save her.

Sofia keeps having visions of her giving a lecture and an audience listening to it. Perhaps that keeps her not to lose hope after all. While the medics start to operate on her, others bring out Josh’s body from the rainforest. She smiles brightly to find him alive. The couple kisses each other and gets out of the turmoil. So essentially, we get a tale of this married couple trying to escape their relationship’s sinking chaos while trying to survive in a quicksand.

Read More: Everything Coming to AMC Networks (AMC+, Shudder, Acorn TV, Sundance Now, ALLBLK, HIDIVE) in July 2023


Quicksand (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Quicksand (2023) Movie Cast: Sebastian Eslava, Andrés Castañeda, Carolina Gaitan
Other Details of Quicksand (2023) Movie: Genre – Mystery & Thriller,  Runtime – 1h 26m

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