Retro Review: The Cave

Monsters, caves, thrill-seekers, scientists and claustrophobia are all the elements that make “The Cave” just another one of those old-fashioned “monster-mash” movies.

I suffer from an affliction. I love monster movies or as I call them creature features. I don’t care how cheesy they are or if there is some guy running around in a giant rubber suit.

Ok, I couldn’t get through all the Godzilla movies but most of them I liked. I don’t know what it is about them but I am always glued to screen wondering what kind of creature that Hollywood has unleashed on us this time. I find it spellbinding for some reason.

If you suffer from the same affliction as me then you are probably going to love “The Cave” for basically what it is.

A group of “spelunkers” and a couple scientists descend down into one of the largest underground caves ever discovered. Hoping to unlock its secrets and discover what lies beneath.

As the team discovers their surroundings they begin to realize they are not alone and that they aren’t the first explorers to visit these tunnels. The team begins to panic when one of their team members is killed and a freak cave-in blocks off their only way out. Alone in the dark, low on supplies and being hunted by winged creatures, the team must survive.

Left to right: Eddie Cibrian, Cole Hauser, Lena Headey, Piper Perabo
Left to right: Eddie Cibrian, Cole Hauser, Lena Headey, Piper Perabo

The film stars a lot of “B-actors” including Cole Hauser (“2 Fast 2 Furious”), Eddie Cibrian (TV’s “Third Watch” & “Tilt”), Morris Chestnut (“Ladder 49”), Piper Perabo (“Coyote Ugly”) and the always reliable and gorgeous Lena Headey (“The Brothers Grimm”).

The film itself is basically “Alien” in the underground but even if we have seen it a dozen times before it can still be a lot of fun. Like we all remember how much fun Pitch Black was.

The film’s atmosphere and sense of claustrophobia is probably its most redeeming feature. The film excels when it focuses on the elements and what it really feels like to be miles and miles below the earth. I loved

the underwater sequences and how the film was able to make this underground world feel and look so real. This was also the same with “Alien” and what it was like to be in deep space.

The script also doesn’t allow for the audience to get to know the group or allow for a dynamic to evolve. I think this was the key reason why this movie wasn’t as good as it could have been.

One other aspect I found kind of confusing is the fact to why are all these people going down inside this cave. The film just assumes we know. What is the benefit of cave exploration? What is the motive to get into these hazardous situations deep underground?

There also seems to be a lot of unnecessary footage that for me should have been on the DVD. The film’s first scene and the film’s last scene should have been extras on the DVD. Putting those scenes aside, the film should have allowed for the audience to get to know the “spelunker team” better.

If you check your brain at the door and get wrapped up in the film’s wonderful atmosphere then you are sure to enjoy “The Cave”.

3 out of 5.

So Says the Soothsayer

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