A steaming hot day with cool dips in the waters of an old quarry do little to calm or disperse the bubbling undercurrents that drive this film.

Alicia (Natalia Mezzanine) has returned to her home village from Montevideo with her boyfriend Bruno (Augusto Gordillo). Meeting up with childhood friends Tincho (Rafael Beltrán) and Tola (Luis Pazos) there’s an almost immediate tension as Bruno starts for feel uncomfortable about Tincho who is continually looking at Alicia. Meanwhile Tola seemingly oblivious is busy setting up the barbecue and genuinely trying to get the party to, well party.

Trouble is the tension is compounded by Bruno’s big city patronising and duly winds up the hometown boys and narks Alicia who does try and cool things down. Gradually as the heat intensifies so do the tensions and each goes for the other with friends falling out as do the lovers.

A terrific study of alpha male strutting, arrogance, manipulation and envy, the four leads are tight as it gradually ratchets up with old issues rise to the fore compounded by the interloper into the old gang. Loyalties are tested to the max as the green-eyed dragon spreads its wings and soars with plots afoot to harm and injure each other.

There isn’t much in the way of gore as this is a psychological thriller, and what there is of horror comes late, though it does have its wincing moments. The key here is it is a brilliantly balanced film with co-writers and directors Bernardo and Rafael Antonaccio, making their feature debut, keeping a tight hold on the action and the performances. It also looks fabulous right from the off with the cauldron of the quarry the sun-baked deep orange hues, contrasted with the cool of the water.

In the Quarry was presented at Glasgow FrightFest on 6 March 2020.

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