The Cave (2005)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 45%
Overall Rating
Ranked #2,221
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: August 29, 2005
Caves are pretty creepy places. They're dark, wet, claustrophobic, and "worst of all" always seem to be the home to demons or creatures or a combination thereof. Watching this film, I quickly came to the conclusion that "cave diver" might be the most terrifying occupation a person could have, next to carnies at the Neverland Ranch. What "The Cave" does is present the audience with a familiar premise and use the remaining ninety or so minutes to load us with thrills and chills and creature effects. We automatically know there is something in the cave: but what? The opening of this film seemed a little like the opening of "Congo", whereas a group of scientists go looking for something and end up disappearing. A rescue team is sent, and that team goes through the same thing as the original team, except that most of them make it out alive. "The Cave" is one of those films you either love or hate. It is not a horror film because the creatures seem more alien than anything else, and there is slightly more action than horror. However, the film is also not considered an action flick, seeing as how it feels more like "Pitch Black" meets "Piranha". Having limited expectations upon entering the theatre, I was surprised to discover that "The Cave" was a very well made motion picture. It delivers nothing more than it offers, and what it offers is fun, excitement, and intriguing entertainment.

Guess what the occupation of choice in this film is? If you guessed "neurosurgeon", you guessed incorrectly. Each character in this film is either a scientist or a cave diver, and some are even both. Cole Hauser stars as Jack, the leader of the most accomplished group of cave divers in the world. They go all over the world, from Romania to Mexico, exploring caves and taking scientific readings. Jack's brother Tyler (Eddie Cibrian) is one of the stars of the group, but always seems to get a little disrespect from his big bro. Morris Chestnut, in yet another thankless role, co-stars (as always) as Top, the co-leader of the group and token black man. With as much energy as Chestnut usually has, it's a shame he always plays second fiddle to B-listers. Marcel Iures and Lena Headey are the two scientists sent along for the ride. Once the team reaches the inside of the cave, people start disappearing and creatures begin scuttling in the darkness. Staying alive becomes the top priority as the cave divers and scientists search for a way out. Being one mile under the Earth's surface and three miles to the left would seem like a long trek, but these experts seem to tackle it all rather easily, minus the winged demon-like monsters thirsty for blood, and the "shrieking eels" that litter the cave lakes. Oh, and did I forget to mention that there are microscopic parasites down in the cave that infect you and turn you into one of the creatures? I won't say which one, but let's just say that one of the cave divers turns a little non-human whilst on the little sojourn into the Earth.

Films like "The Cave" set out to do only one thing: entertain. If they accomplish that one task, they have accomplished 100% of their goal, which compels me to give them such glowing reviews. If you go into this film expecting "Ben-Hur", you are going to be disappointed. If you go in expecting "Ben Hur Battles the Shrieking Eels", you are going to be hooting and hollering for the entire ninety minutes. Director Bruce Hunt does an outstanding job of really giving the film that claustrophobic feeling. The cinematography is simple and dark and does the trick. Most of the time, the only light we see is the light being provided by the flashlights, and that lends to the feeling that something could come leaping out of the darkness at any time. "Pitch Black" is the most comparable film to "The Cave" in that both films use the dark to their advantage, and both films use demon-like creatures as their antagonists. The creatures in "The Cave", however, seem slightly more frightening. Just the idea that these creatures have been living underground for so long, just waiting for the chance to feed like this: it gives the film a heaviness that would normally be absent from any film starring Cole Hauser. Some of the scenes in this film borrow a little too heavily from "Alien", but the crux of the film really works, especially on the technical level. "The Cave" is quite visually appealing.

Operation: Find Cole Hauser A Decent Role has finally ended, and we have all failed. This is nothing more than the typical Cole Hauser role, though he does get to have a little more fun than usual, and he seems to be getting darker and more brooding with each new role. Ah, I remember when all he did was beat up paparazzi. And, as mentioned before, the overused and under-appreciated Morris Chestnut is back again with yet another thankless role that could have been written out altogether. Along with "Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid", "Confidence", and "Ladder 49" it has been a pretty dismal year for Mr. Chestnut. The highlight of the film, for me, was virtual newcomer Eddie Cibrian, who is actually slightly more prominent in the film than Cole Hauser. Cibrian is an action star waiting to happen, and he was enjoyable eye candy. I don't think I use this term enough, but he was a bit of a "movie hunk". Other than these guys, the rest of the ensemble, including Daniel Dae Kim from "Lost", really just took up space. But, are performances really what you look for in a horror film? No. Are performances what you look for in an action movie? Ask Bruce Willis: double hell no. This film is about blood and guts and death and chaos, and "The Cave" delivers them all, in abundance.

So, that is that. "The Cave" is a fine piece of eye candy and Eddie Cibrian will make your heart melt. Had they killed his character off, I would have sobbed openly. This film is all about atmosphere, and the atmosphere is good. If it had tried for something too uppity, I would have been disappointed. It did no such of a thing. "The Cave" is good, old fashioned horror movie fun and it proves not only that caves are usually home to winged demon-like monsters, but also that the only thing more resilient than those winged demon-like monsters is Cole Hauser's career. I recommend "The Cave" to all of you movie fans sick to death of the drudgery of the August movie season. I recommend "The Cave" to all you guys pissed off at being forced into "Must Love Dogs". I recommend "The Cave" to all of you poor, pathetic bastards who actually think a two hour film about fairy tales writers is more exciting than monsters and caves and spelunking. Beneath heaven lies hell. Beneath hell lies the cave. Beneath the cave lies... oh, wait, I guess there is nothing beneath the cave, except for maybe an A-list script for Morris Chestnut.

Chad #1: Chad - added 01/02/2006, 08:15 AM
Although I would have left out the last two sentences in the synopsis for fear of spoilers, this review gets another nod of approval from yours truly; therefore, I'm not going to re-review this one. Think I would have went 8/10 though.
Dametria #2: Dametria - added 06/12/2007, 02:19 AM
It seemed to me they were trying to hollywood-ize "Decent". Except someone said, lets add some dudes for that testosterone kick, and make more than one type of creature down there......oh and WINGS!!! And lets make sure we end it the way we like things to end over here......
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