“In The Quarry” is a steady ride into a well-timed and vicious chaos that grabs you gently by the throat with its festering tension and explosive climax.
Bernardo and Rafael Antonaccio’s, In The Quarry (En El Pozo) is a shocking film that will string you along until its captivating climax, leaving you numb in your seat with plenty to think about. The characters are well-rounded with distinct personalities that drive the plot with rigorous tension, while the fearful atmosphere becomes darker and more forceful with every minute’s passing.
What first strikes you is the location of the film and the conjoined atmosphere.
Set in an isolated quarry in the middle of nowhere, the beautiful scenery holds a certain eeriness that puts one on edge. The opening credits provide a great introduction to this space — the low, creeping music giving us an instantly creepy vibe that lets us know that this won’t be a happy get-together with four friends.
The landing pad for the tension is immediately set up upon the introduction of the characters.
First, there’s Ali, a beautiful blonde that has captured the affections of the possessive, Bruno and love-struck, Tincho. There is also Talo, the comic relief and occasional mediator of the group. As soon as we are introduced to the cast, we understand where each person stands and the state of each relationship.
This allows the tension to immediately start building, as more and more is revealed about the personality and temperament of each character, and as Ali starts becoming more and more overwhelmed from the unwanted attention she’s getting from both Bruno and Tincho.
The tension and story are beautifully paced.
As the film progresses, we know we are getting closer to the one incident that will knock over the row of dominoes. It’s like a grip that’s slowly getting tighter and tighter. We see Bruno grow more bitter and erratic as he faces Tincho’s competition and Ali’s rejection. We see Ali begin to fear him and worry for her well-being.
The cinematography is also great at presenting this. The beginning of the film is bathed in a yellow sun. But as the day continues, the redness of the sunset and darkness of night sets in — signaling the horrors that are about to be unleashed.
Then, it all happens. In minutes, the whole situation ignites like a wildfire.
An accident turns into a horrible crime, followed by further horrors that’ll leave you gasping. The entire climax leaves you speechless and stuck in your seat for several minutes after the movie as you attempt to absorb what you’ve just watched.
Although this film is definitely a cautionary tale on how bad things can get from something as innocent as fighting over a girl, it can also be argued that it presents the dangers of possessive and toxic men who treat women like sex objects.
At first glance, one might assume that this film comments directly dangers of leading men on, but Ali made no direct promises to Bruno or Tincho.
And she indirectly states throughout that she isn’t interested in anything more than casual sex (or sometimes even less than that as she outright rejects Bruno’s invasive sexual advances). She doesn’t commit to either them, nor does she want a relationship with either of them. Yet both assume that they have right to her, almost like an object.
(I could’ve reached through the screen and punched Bruno when he tried to blame Ali for HIS actions).
Also, the fact that she is completely alone in the middle of nowhere with no other women around speaks to her vulnerability, as she doesn’t have any true allies that treat her with genuine respect. This made the film so relatable to any woman who understands how extremely worrying it would be to have to place one’s trust and humanity in men who only see you as a sex object.
Overall, heart-racing and wonderfully tense, IN THE QUARRY is certainly a must-see at this year’s Brooklyn Horror Film Festival and beyond.