In hopes of beginning her own journey to recovery and self-worth, “Kat” (Nicole Marie Johnson) leaves her abusive boyfriend and joins a hiking expedition, made up of other disparaged women, for a several-day long hike. Unfortunately, Kat gets much more than she bargained for, and so does the rest of the group when they realize that they are not alone. Co-written by Nicole Marie Johnson, Quarries is the perfect blend of horror, thriller, and empowerment, as contradictory as those may seem. This jam-packed horror film is the girl-power thriller we have been waiting for. (LMB: 4/5)
Review by FF2 Associate Lindsy M. Bissonnette
“Kat” (Nicole Marie Johnson) is finally out of her abusive relationship. With her new beginning, she hopes some self-discovery and healing can be found by joining an all-female hiking group led by “Jean” (Sara Mornell), an experienced and kind hiker who plans to teach the women everything they need to know about surviving off the land, and learning about themselves in the process. In addition to Jean, is “Joy” (Joy McElveen) her right-hand woman and fellow hiker. The rest of the hikers include: “Wren” (Carrie Finklea), a recovering pain-killer addict; “Madison” (Leisha Hailey) and “April” (Nicole DuPort) an adventurous young couple; and “Brit” (Rebecca Colette McFadzien), a kind New Zealander who is social media obsessed.
Just before the girls depart for their journey, Jean decides to change their trail when she realizes a massive fire will be in their way. Not long into the trip, while telling the group to watch their step, Jean slips and falls down a steep hill and injures her collar bone so the women make their way back in hopes of finding shelter and medical attention. As the women set up their tents, and are just beginning to bond, they realize a group of hunters has been following them and intends to leave no survivors.
The next few days are absolute hell for the group as they are forced to fight in the woods, in unknown territory. They quickly learn to defend themselves and protect each other, as the hunters attempt to pick them off one by one. This horror/thriller turns into a survival of the fittest as these women, once beaten by life, learn to fight for their own.
Quarries is the perfect blend of horrifying and empowering. With well thought-out background stories and strong relationships, these characters are not the usual flat or stereotypical type that one finds in the horror films of the past. Nicole Marie Johnson and fellow writer/director Nils Taylor have created a unique story with fascinating, flushed-out characters, and chilling suspense that showcases females as fighters, and not the usual damsel-in-distress.
© Lindsy M. Bissonnette FF2 Media (11/25/16)
Top Photo: Kat and Wren run for their lives through unknown territory.
Middle Photo: Madison and April share a moment together.
Bottom Photo: Wren steps outside to pull herself together.
Photo Credits: Diamond Cutter Films
Q: Does Quarries pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test?
This film is packed with dialogue between women. Jean talks the group about strength on their journey, the women talk to each other about the hike and share information about their pasts.