Cole Hauser in The Cave.
The best thing that can be said of The Cave is that it was better than I expected it to be. While I thought it would just be cheesy monsters chasing cave explorers with lots of blood and mindless violence, it was actually not so cheesy monsters chasing cave explorers with only a limited amount of blood and some actual suspense. Rather than a late night cable movie, it was actually more like a Sci-Fi channel original movie. Not a classic by any means, but possibly one you might want to add to your Netflix queue for a rainy day.
As far as plot goes, the movie keeps it simple. A group of professional spelunkers, who specialize in underwater caves, are brought in to explore what might possibly be the largest underground cavern system in the world. Not long after they began their exploration however, there is a cave-in and they are forced to try and find another exit before their supplies are depleted. Naturally, this task is made more difficult by the presence of the large demonic looking creatures that start stalking them. Like an old Star Trek episode, the expendable members of the party are eliminated one-by-one. In a further twist, the leader of the expedition is bitten by one of the creatures and begins to undergo an odd transformation.
Although the action is fairly decent, the characters are all pretty generic. The cast is made up of C-list actors with Cole Hauser and Morris Chestnut being what makes up the recognizable names. Not that it really matter who plays whom since the cast is all pretty much interchangeable. I had no idea so that many models were interested in spelunking!
Clearly The Cave is trying to be an Aliens type movie, but the action is never ratcheted to those heights. There's a lot more sneaking around in the dark or swimming in water when something brushes past your leg type of incidents, than there are bullets being fired. In a way though, this is a refreshing change of pace from the normal amount of meaningless violence. This is instead, meaningless suspense.
The ending of the movie clearly leaves room for a sequel, but I wouldn't start ordering my tickets now. The best a sequel to this movie could hope for would be a straight to DVD release.
Lena Headey in The Cave.
Sure, The Cave is not a great movie, but it is a decent horror film. I have a bit of claustrophobia and would never in my life go into a cave like those shown in this movie. The small confined space would be enough to scare me let alone the monsters that lurk there.
As Scott wrote, the characters and plot are extremely simple. This film takes place in Romania. Is that not near Transylvania? I kept guessing that the movie was going to tie the winged meat eaters to Dracula. It would have been another movie explanation for vampires. But The Cave does not have any originality going for it so such a plot twist is no where to be found. The movie's plot is just a straight and simple, yet well paced, attempt by the characters to avoid being food as they try to get out of the cave.
The cast is fine for what is required of them. They look like they all came from a soap opera. In fact Eddie Cybrian use to be on my wife's favorite daytime soap, The Young and the Restless. All that is required of these actors is to look scared and move quickly.
The writing is the real weak point. Not only did The Cave miss some plot opportunities but the dialogue is very weak as well with such lines as, "Respect the cave." and"They fly! They frickin' fly!"
The Cave has great atmosphere and a few hair raising scenes of terror. However, there is little originality to be found in this predictable horror film.
Morris Chestnut in The Cave.
Unlike my brothers I thought this movie really sucked. If not for the fact that I wanted to review it I would have changed the channel halfway through. The flaws Scott and Eric mentioned are much worse than they make them sound. The acting went from wooden to hammy, the script was unoriginal, the dialogue banal and the ending as predictable as sunrise. In fact I refuse to waste more of my time on this crap except to say that Morris Chestnut looked good.
Photos © Copyright Screen Gems Inc. (2005)