The best meets the worst
J. J. Chiappelli | Pasadena, MD | 08/29/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The good news: this movie features some of the best sets I've ever seen in a movie. The set design, the props, the colors---everything that is visual about this movie is top-notch. This is the definition of eye-candy, right here. Beautiful. Brilliant images fill the screen from start to finish. And since not many movies are set underwater or within caves, many of the sets look exotic and otherworldly, which is all the more reason the visuals are so appealing.
The bad news: everything else.
"The Cave" is a subpar action-horror with a bunch of slimy, fanged monsters stalking and/or eating a group of young, attractive explorers. It features pretty much all of the cliches you'd expect from an action-horror and doesn't really try to break the mold. This wouldn't be a problem, necessarily, if the script and acting and direction were at least done well. Unfortunately, they aren't.
There are only two good actors in the whole movie: Cole Hauser and Daniel Dae Kim. The latter is on screen for about ten minutes, total, and for six of those minutes he just runs around screaming. Not a great opportunity to show off talent. Hauser does a decent job, but the character he has to play is ludicrous and his lines are laughable, so you don't really notice his performance half the time.
Everybody else is forgettable. The female lead, in particular, is bland.
The screenplay is aggravating. We are told, in the beginning of the movie, that these characters are professionals and scientists, but they speak like losers. For example, when they first go into The Cave, Blonde Girl screams, "Totally awesome!" While this is certainly the sentiment that comes to mind when seeing the set, you might think that a scientist would be able to say something a bit more intelligent. Unfortunately, the dialogue stays around that same level of sophistication throughout.
Needless to say, the characters are all flat and uninteresting. But you probably guessed that already.
But even with a bad script, bad acting, and a cliched plot, this movie could still have mustered at least a three star rating if it wasn't for the gaping plot holes and inconsistencies. Dr. Old Guy and Dr. Hot Chick examine two slides of cells collected within The Cave and discover a parasite within them. Then they find one of the monsters' claws and cut it open. Within three seconds, they are able to conclude that the claw is infected with the parasite, too. Huh? They don't need a microscope or anything? Okay, whatever....
Dr. Hot Chick explains that they are dealing with a species that evolved in total isolation. Uh, okay, don't know how she surmised all of that from exactly ten seconds of observing a claw, but then why would the monster be a parasite? Isn't it a little bit contradictory for a parasite to live in an environment where there isn't much life to leech off of?
And if the animals are predators, then why are they also parasites? Shouldn't they just be eating the humans instead of infecting them and transforming them? Do the monsters act like vampires and get to choose who transforms and who just turns into food? And if they don't, then how have the monsters lived for so long in The Cave? After a bazillion years in isolation, shouldn't everything be infected, and consequently they would've died from starvation? Or are they cannibals? And if they are cannibals, then why are they hunting the humans, specifically?
The monsters just plain don't make any sense. Sure, this isn't one of those newfangled "thinking" movies, but you would think that a couple of simple things could be sorted out before the filmmakers set out to film this crap.
It all leads up to an ending which is among the lamest and least explicable endings I've ever seen. I won't ruin it, but let me just say this: I thought the movie already couldn't get any more incomprehensible, and then I saw the ending. Now my brain hurts.
Txjack | Central Texas | 12/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I saw the previews for this low budget horror/thriller and saw it at the theater. I thought it was decent. Was it an oscar winner? No, but really, was it supposed to be?
As for a couple of hour diversion, The Cave was fine. I came in with fairly low expectations and walked away feeling satisfied. I don't understand all the negativity towards it.
If you buy the DVD, don't expect a megabuck blockbuster flick. It is a fairly low buget movie that put most of its money into really classy sets. Aliens, it ain't, but for spending a fun night in front of the TV, The Cave meets the bill. There are many, many horror movies that are really terrible. I just don't think The Cave fits that bill."
Pitch Black meets Alien and goes Underground...
Schtinky | California | 03/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like good B-horror movies with nasty critters that go Bite in the Nite, a group of people (in this case scientists and cave divers) waiting to get picked off one by one, and a unique atmosphere that adds to the creeping horror, then you will love The Cave. Whether alien planet or dark underground caverns, backdrop is important to a horror film, and the location of this film helps to highlight the monstrosities that come crawling out to greet their guests.
The film starts with a group of treasure hunters who break into this ancient church, hoping to discover riches buried underneath the decorative seal on the floor. After a silly mistake in which they blow up the seal while standing too close, they all fall down. Screaming.
Later, in more modern times, a group of scientists and cave divers enter, hoping to go where no man has gone before. They set up a base camp in a cavern while sending a diver through a long, long underwater tunnel to map it out. Because of a strange message from said diver after he enters the next cavern, the entire team, typical of b-horror, follows. The tunnel collapses behind them, about the same time our crew discovers they are not alone in the cave. Trapped, with no communication to the outside and low on food and water, our merry group of mistake-makers must find a way out before they are all eaten. Rock wall climbing, ice climbing, diving, riding down wild water tunnels and waterfalls, hiding in still pools, escape begins to look bleaker and bleaker as the way out becomes harder to reach.
The scenery and photography are great, the cave is creepy and dark, and the acting, while not memorable, is not as bad as some folks have mentioned. The best part, as with any monster movie, are the monsters. Sinister and pale, slimy and toothy, tricky and clever, hungry and unpredictable, its lunchtime underground as our beastly brutes stalk the humans. There are a few revelations to be made along the way, such as discovering they are parasitical and can fly, the parasitical aspect leaving members of the human team suspect.
Okay, so 'The Cave' is not the kind of movie that will ever be up for an award, and it's not the kind of movie that should be analyzed too closely. 'The Cave' is a movie that you kick back and enjoy with some beer and popcorn, surround sound turned on, and wait for the deliciously bizarre and slimy human-eaters to appear. Many people haven't cared for this movie, but in my opinion, it is a 'buy'. Enjoy!
Not a bad film
Catherine A. Cochran | 04/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you can accept the idea that no matter what it looks like, creatures always come across as corny, then you will find this movie entertaining. Also what appears to be a mistake is not, on rebreathers that they use in the movie, there is a mic for the divers can use to talk to eachother underwater on."