The Cave

Ever since the classic days of horror, one constant in film has been the time honored formula of a group of people trapped, and being stalked by sinister forces bent on their destruction.

Through countless monster films of the 40’s, 50’s, and 70’s this pattern has been a constant, ranging from Dracula to It: the Terror from Beyond Space which served as the inspiration for the genre classic “Alien”.

The breakout success of “Alien” vaulted the so called creature features from the status of matinee standard to mainstream release, which has seen varied success over the years on the big screen, but has been a fixture of cable and the home video market.

It is said that to all things there is a season, and this summer was no exception as the latest film in the genre, The Cave has surfaced at theaters after much delay due to constantly changing release dates.

The film tells of a group of explores headed by Jack (Cole Hauser), who venture to Romania to explore what is believed to be the largest underwater cave ever discovered.

In no time the team has established a base camp and ventures into the depths and finds themselves in a massive underwater cavern approximately two miles in after they had begun to explore.

A freak incident occurs trapping the group inside the unexplored cavern, which forces them to seek a new way out, as their supplies will run out in twelve days. This matter combined with the depth of their location makes a rescue difficult process, so despite reservations the team ventures even deeper into the unexplored cave.

Along the way, signs of human remains are found, which sets the group further on edge. A chance encounter with a cave dwelling creature leaves Jack injured and causes the team to look at his brother Tyler (Eddie Cibrian), to take charge, as there are those that start to believe Jack is no longer fit to lead the team. As the film unfolds a series of accidents and encounters with the bizarre creatures leaves the team diminished and in disarray, and in a bizarre twist, Jack has begun to deteriorate leaving people to wonder just how extensive the damage from his attack is.

What surprised me is that with an interesting premise and good supporting actors such as Morris Chestnut, and Piper Perabo just how dull and unsympathetic the characters were. We are told very little about them leaving their characters so paper thin, even by action film standards that it is very hard to have any sympathy for them, and care about their outcome.

What is an even bigger surprise is that the film for the most part is utterly devoid of any thrills, chills, or tension as it plods along failing to gain any modicum of suspense.

The so called finale was so by the numbers that it was in no way worth having to sit through 90+ minutes of uninspired acting, average effects, and groan inducing dialogue (“They can fly to”) that generated laughs during what is supposed to be a moment of intensity.

The creatures have some potential but we see so precious little of them, and based on certain elements of the plot, there is a lot more that needed to be said that was not.

The ending does leave the door open for a sequel but as this film is likely to be on my “Worst of the Year” list, lets hope they decide to delay this a few years which is what they should have continued to do with this bomb.

1 star out of 5