Film review by: Witney Seibold
I saw the trailer for The Cave, and was unsure as to what it was about, as it was careful not to reveal the unknown threat that was killing off the cast. Luckily the poster in the lobby had an amusing clue: The PG-13 rating was “for intense creature violence.” Hooray! Creatures! The film itself turned out to be as typical a creature feature as one would expect, loaded with types (the hotshot, the military man, the cute “dude”-spewing blonde, and smartypants doctor, and the aged expert) all being predictably offed by monsters in a cave.
There’s not much of a setup: a team of expert cave-divers is called by scientists into a cave to, uh, explore it. Atop the cave was a black church warning people away. A rule to live by: when you find the mouth to a forbidding subterranean maze beneath a black church, don’t go in it. Our heroes dive and swim and map and find some odd monster eels and moles, but think nothing of it, knowing that this particular cavern could rival anything from A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Then a bigger monster appears. One that can swim and fly and climb and chew right through your bones, presumably tired of feeding on moles and lichen and itching for a new menu item. The film is mostly a chase through the conveniently hallway-shaped caves to return to the surface, limbs intact.
The film’s shop-talk is actually well-done: I believed it when pour heroes ranted about their nifty equipment they used for cave-diving. The cast (including Cole Hauser as the low-rent Josh Lucas character, Morris Chestnut as the Marine-type, and Piper Perabo who needs to fire her agent, as she is obviously a pretty and talented comedienne who has starred in a series of unsuccessful or merely awful films) held up under some pretty cheesy dialogue, staying away from the temptation to overact, and thus allowing the humanity to feel more natural. Maybe not believable, but at least natural. The film’s biggest problem comes from the direction: the film was too damn dark. Director Bruce Hunt kept the lights so low, and the editing so quick, that for much of the action sequences, it was unclear as to what was going on.
It’s not quite The Relic, but it’s better than Critters 4.