Friday, February 4, 2011

Review: "The Cave" is B-Movie Fun

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 9 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Cave (2005)
Running time: 97 minutes (1 hour, 37 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense creature violence
DIRECTOR: Bruce Hunt
WRITERS: Michael Steinberg and Tegan West
PRODUCERS: Gary Lucchesi, Andrew Mason, Michael Ohoven, Tom Rosenberg, and Richard Wright
EDITOR: Brian Berdan

HORROR/ACTION/THRILLER with elements of sci-fi

Starring: Cole Hauser, Morris Chestnut, Eddie Cibrian, Daniel Dae Kim, Rick Ravanello, Marcel Iures, Kieran Darcy-Smith and Lena Heady and Piper Perabo

Deep in the Romanian forest, scientists have discovered the ruins of a 13th century abbey. What they don’t know is that 30 years earlier, the abbey was till intact when a group of mercenaries entered it to find something the scientists are now about to discover for themselves. The abbey was built over the entrance to a giant underground cave system.

Local biologists hire seasoned cave explorers, led by the enigmatic Jack (Cole Hauser), to guide them on what should be a routine deep-cave dive and expedition of this cave system beneath the Carpathian Mountains. The expedition suddenly turns deadly when the cavern they’re surveying collapses. Being trapped isn’t the end of the world for this team, as the explorers themselves would rank as the number one rescue party were a similar thing to happen to some other group. However, getting out becomes complicated when they discover that weird and monstrous creatures occupy the cave and these beasts have an evil hunger for human flesh.

Savaged by critics and reviews, The Cave may have in the minds of many moviegoers the reputation of being something really awful. The truth is that it’s a rather thrilling monster movie. Think of it as Alien set in the alien world that is the world of deep caverns, but without the cinematic pedigree. The film’s producers hired a many actual cave explorers as consultants for the film, so the characters, their equipment, and technology ring as true. The film is also dimly lit and awash in a drowning world of blackness and deep shadows in which even strong light can’t make much of a dent. That really adds to our sense of dread for the characters. We hear the growls, roars, and assorted noise of the monsters. We hear the characters running and searching for a way out, but it is often hard to see key moments clearly. Director Bruce Hunt uses that to create an exciting and invigorating sense of paranoia.

But all that really needs to be said is that The Cave is a fun monster movie. It has more scares and thrills than cheese, and the filmmakers took their project seriously enough to make a surprisingly effective horror movie. For those who like the idea of monstrous animals creeping in the shadows our world and waiting to eat us, this is for you.

6 of 10

Saturday, January 14, 2006


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