Quicksand (2023) Ending Explained – What happens to Josh and Sofia?

Quicksand Plot Summary

Quicksand tells the story of Josh and Sofia, an unhappily married couple who, after travelling to Colombia for a work conference, decide to take a hike through the forests of Choachi. 

Not long into their hike, they are accosted by a carjacker and forced to escape into Las Arenas, an off-the-track area which, according to the receptionist from their hotel, is a very unsafe place to be. 

It turns out the hotel employee was right. While running through this dangerous location, the two end up in quicksand. This is bad enough for the unlucky couple but their situation is made worse by a swarm of giant ants and a very angry snake.

Do Josh and Sofia survive? Let’s take a closer look at the movie.

How does Quicksand begin?

At the beginning of Quicksand, we are introduced to two men who are hunting snakes in Las Arenas. They hope to profit from the skin of these reptiles which is more valuable than the items they rob from local tourists. 

After this opening scene, we cut to Josh and Sofia who have arrived in Bogota, Columbia for a work conference. The two are both doctors and are here to deliver a presentation.

When they get to their hotel, they meet Marcos, a friend of Josh’s who has organized the conference. After a brief conversation with him, Josh and Sofia head to their room. She isn’t happy about their sleeping situation as there is only one bed and the two haven’t slept in the same room for quite some time.

It’s clear that their marriage is on the rocks, for reasons that may have something to do with Josh’s drinking problems and the fact that he was absent during his daughter’s birth. 

Over dinner, Marcos and Josh arrange to go hiking. When Sofia retires to bed, Josh talks to Marcos about his marriage and reveals to his friend that he and Sofia are on the verge of splitting up. 

Do Marcos and Josh go on a hike?

The next morning, we learn Marcos isn’t able to go hiking. Josh decides not to go but when Sofia tells him she wants to hike through the forests near Choachi, he insists on coming with her to keep her safe. 

When looking at a map with the hotel receptionist, they are warned not to hike through Las Arenas, as the area is supposedly very dangerous. Josh and Sofia think they can handle the trail but ultimately decide to follow the advice they have been given.

When they leave the hotel, the receptionist nods to a man who is sitting in the lounge. This guy is one of the hunters that was seen at the beginning of the film, and while it’s not made clear, it’s likely that he and the hotel employee are working together to rob tourists.

What happens on the hike?

Josh and Sofia arrive at the hiking trail and proceed with their expedition. But when they hear the sound of thunder, Josh decides the safest thing to do is to head back to the car and leave. 

When they get to the car, they discover the guy from the hotel trying to break into their vehicle. A fight breaks out between Josh and the man but when this ends badly for Josh, he and Sofia flee into the forest. They end up in Las Arenas, the place where they were warned not to go. Sofia loses Josh along the way and ends up falling into a muddy pool that turns out to be quicksand.

Josh finds Sofia and tries to pull her out but his attempt fails. When she submerges beneath the muddy water, he jumps in to rescue her, but then becomes as stuck as she is. 

Meanwhile, Marcos is at the hotel. He finds a message from Josh telling him that he and Sofia have gone hiking and they won’t be back till late. 

Do Josh and Sofia have an exit plan?

Josh has never heard of anybody dying from quicksand so thinks they will be okay. He’s just trying to stay positive, however, as he knows he and his wife are in quite a predicament! 

During their attempts to get out of the mud, Sofia feels something beneath her. It turns out to be a dead body – another victim of the quicksand – and Sofia thinks he must have starved to death. They take the man’s backpack off him and discover various items, including a torch, knife, and a Bible. He also has a rifle, which they take before pushing him back beneath the muddy pool. 

Josh sees a rock nearby which looks strong enough to hold Sofia’s weight. He cuts the backpack into strips and makes a lasso from the material. His plan is to throw this over the rock so Sofia can pull herself out. 

We then cut back to the hotel where Marcos sees the scammer carrying Josh’s backpack. He confronts the man and when they start to fight, the hotel staff pull them apart. The two are then arrested. 

Does Josh’s plan work?

They create a makeshift rope from the backpack but it doesn’t reach the rock. But while this plan doesn’t work, they see another chance for freedom when they spot a helicopter in the sky. They call up to it, hoping somebody will see or hear them, but as the trees are very thick, they are too well hidden. 

Sofia becomes panicked and worries that they might become dehydrated as their water bottles are in the backpack that was stolen. She then has more to worry about when ants start crawling over her neck and begin nibbling at her skin. 

At this point, Josh brings out a bottle of vodka that he had kept hidden and pours it over Sofia’s neck to wash away the ants. Sofia is angry with Josh because he didn’t tell her about the alcohol he was carrying. She’s mad, not only because they could have drunk the vodka but because she thought he was over his drinking problem. He tells her their relationship problems and the stress of work were the factors behind his decision to start drinking again.

While they are talking, the camera cuts to something moving towards them. Is it a rescue party? Nope! It’s a snake and it arrives at the quicksand to defend its nest which is located nearby. 

Does the snake get them?

Josh tells Sofia to shoot the snake but as she takes aim, it lunges at Josh and bites him. She manages to wound the reptile but the bullet isn’t enough to kill it. The snake slithers away but as the venom is circulating around Josh’s body, he is still in danger. Sofia thinks they have around 6 hours before the poison shuts down Josh’s organs. Because they are stuck, Josh isn’t confident that he will survive. 

We then cut to a prison cell where Marcos and the scammer are talking. The man agrees to tell Marcos where Josh and Sofia are if he gives him his watch. Marcos agrees and then shouts to the guard to tell him that he is a doctor and needs to be released so he can find his friends who may be in danger. 

Back at the quicksand, Josh is panicking but Sofia tells him he needs to remain calm to slow down his heart rate. He tells her there is nothing she can do for him but she has an idea.

What is Sofia’s idea?

The venom is spreading and coagulating Josh’s blood so his survival chances are extremely low. To save his life, Sofia decides to cut the clot in his ceratoid artery that is blocking the blood flow to his brain. Before she does this, Josh expresses his love for her.

Sofia heats the knife blade with a lighter, cuts away the clot, and then seals the wound with the heated blade. She has managed to save his life but as the pain is too much for him, he slips into unconsciousness. When he comes to, she asks him if he meant what he said about loving her, to which he replies “yes.”

Josh may have been saved from the effects of the snake bite but they are still stuck in the quicksand. This is a nightmarish situation but on the positive side, it gives them the perfect opportunity to talk about their marriage problems, leading to a bonding moment where they both express their love for one another. 

Do they get out of the quicksand?

Sofia has another idea. She thinks the snake can be used as a rope that can be tied to the backpack straps to make a longer lasso. When she sees the snake approaching them, she grabs the rifle but isn’t able to kill the venomous reptile because it gets into the pool and starts to wrap itself around her. 

Before it crushes her, Josh, who had fainted again, wakes up and kills the snake with the knife. Now free from its clutches, Sofia attaches the snake to the backpack straps and lassos it around the rock. She then pulls herself out of the quicksand. 

Sofia tells Josh to grab her hand so she can pull him free. Unfortunately, he can’t move so he tells her to go on without him. Sofia isn’t happy about this but she heads into the forest anyway. She is exhausted and begins hallucinating on the walk. Just as she is about to collapse, an ambulance arrives, along with Marcos, who must have alerted the medical team to the couple’s location in the forest. 

Does Josh survive?

Sofia is taken to the ambulance where she gets the help she needs. While she is resting, Marcos and the rescue team head into the forest to find Josh. A short while later, they return and Sofia is happy to see her husband alive and lying on a stretcher. 

Josh has survived the ordeal and so too has Sofia. But it’s not only their lives that have been saved. When we see the two of them embrace one another, it’s clear that their enforced time together was also responsible for saving their marriage.


Read More: Quicksand Movie Review

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