Published Aug 01, 2005In the world of horror movies, taglines can be quite insightful. Take Sony Pictures' latest release. If "beneath heaven lies hell, and beneath hell lies The Cave," doesn't that imply watching The Cave is a fate worse than hell?
The story follows a group of biologists and underwater cave explorers travelling along the "Nile of underground rivers." As they fumble their way through the unmapped underworld they get trapped, discover they are not alone, become food for oversized creatures, and, well, you get the idea.
This is the directorial debut for Bruce Hunt, whose credits have included work on The Matrix and Dark City. Unfortunately, his efforts here are insultingly formulaic, even for a monster movie, as sexual tension, dysfunctional group dynamics, predictable plot twists and a dubious set-up for a sequel are shoved in the viewer's face. The dialogue is also weak and can at times be laughable, with action hero one-liners that depict the characters as taking themselves far too seriously. Mister Hunt, there is a reason cutting room floors exist.
The Cave also suffers from poor kills and worse thrills. Hardcore horror fans will find little gore here, which is to be expected from a PG-13 release. Novice fear-seekers will find little that tingle their spines however, and Hunt misses many opportunities to exploit the claustrophobic conditions and darkness that characterise this film's potential. Quick camera shots and post-production magic do little to hide the run of the mill creatures either. One shot is even a direct rip-off of H.R. Giger's alien.
The only redeeming quality can be found in some spectacularly filmed underwater sequences. Of course, said sequences are still not impressive enough to warrant watching this film and it is in your best interest to just stay away from this one altogether. (Sony)