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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.71%
Worth A Look: 2.86%
Just Average41.43%
Pretty Crappy: 22.86%
Sucks: 27.14%

8 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Cave, The
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by WilliamPrice

"Obligatory monster romp."
2 stars

Take one decent science-fiction idea, add nine completely bland characters and one seriously over-designed monster, toss the works into an underwater Romanian cave and shake the camera like hell. The results are "The Cave", a frantic, predictable action-horror programmer from Lakeshore Entertainment.

Itís like this. Deep in the Carpathian Mountains lies a forgotten shrine, built to seal off the entrance to a mysterious labyrinth of caves. It seems the locals were being pestered by winged demons coming out of the cave and so forth, so closing it off was probably not such a bad idea. However, thirty years ago, some researchers dynamited the seal so they could explore the cave. Now this was probably not such a good idea, considering that it triggered a landslide that buried them under.

Flash forward to the present, when the cave has been rediscovered, and a crack team of cave divers is assigned to investigate. They promptly get themselves trapped two and a half miles down the underwater river. At this point, they decide it would have been a good idea to station some personnel above ground to monitor their dive. Oops. But besides being lost in a ninety-mile long, unexplored cave system, they soon find themselves beset by a species of monstrous, predatory cave critters. Of all the rotten luck!

Naturally, this leads to a lot of starts and squeals, fever-pitched action sequences and loss of life in the supporting character department. If you dig generic man-vs-monster action-horror, The Cave will not disappoint. Thereís also a unique science-fiction premise about how life adapted itself to the underground. This idea is not exploited fully, but it certainly adds a touch of character to the film, something it needs desperately.

Which leads us to the main sticking point of The Cave, which is the characters (although that may be too strong of a word). Meet Jack, the no-nonsense, tough-talking expedition leader; his brother Vince, the no-nonsense, tough-talking ace diver; Briggs, the other no-nonsense, tough talking ace diver; Buchanan, the no-nonsense, tough-talking black diver; Charlie, the no-nonsense, tough-talking chick diver; Alex, the no-nonsense, tough-talking asian diver; Tyler, a no-nonsense, tough-talking ace diver whose name isnít Vince or Briggs; Katherine, the no-nonsense, tough-talking chick marine biologist, and finally, Dr. Nicolai. He has a beard. Seriously, folks. Taken alone or together, these personalities are about compelling as a spoonful of toothpaste.

The other big problem is the cinematography. In the action scenes, random bits of blurry, indistinguishable offal are fast-cut together into a meaningless jumble, so that you have absolutely no idea what is really happening. To be sure, a lot of the creature work is done using latex suits or whatever, instead of CGI. This is a commendable approach, one which yields a more realistic and natural result, and Iíll concede that for it to work properly, a certain amount of creative evasion on the part of the camera is called for. And with all the action taking place in a cave, a lot of it underwater, limitations in the set construction is likely to require some devious camera work as well. But technical limitations are no excuse for a lack of imagination. Throughout the movie, the shot compositions are artless and bland, and the action choreography is vague and indefinite. Even when the filmmakers have a proper set to work with, like the huge, weird, underground fire-temple discovered near filmís end, the same tedious, choppy, indistinct and awkward cinematic approach is used.

The Cave also passes on a golden opportunity to be atmospheric and suspenseful. Few scenarios could be more suspenseful than wandering around in a dark cave waiting for a gruesome creature to pop out of nowhere. But director Bruce Hunt makes absolutely no attempt to exploit this. There are no sweaty palms or fearful expressions, no slow pans across the suggestive, dripping cavern walls, no ghastly silences punctuated only by labored, terrified breathing. In between the actual attack scenes, the characters merely bark at each other, and seem angry and impatient.

This situation is not helped by the generic, synthesizer-schlock music score. Even before anything bad has happened, itís slogging away with a doleful drone of doom and gloom. This might pass for foreshadowing, but the style is so utterly faceless that it sounds more like a video game soundtrack set in a loop. It lends no atmosphere or personality to the film, and when the monster shows up, we get the same old hackneyed Psycho retread. This is a pity, because a good score, working articulately in conjunction with the interesting visual design, could have done much to alleviate the filmís many disappointments.

"The Cave" is a bland film, but not necessarily boring. Itís fast paced throughout, and despite the incomprehensible action sequences, the overall storyline never bogs down or becomes confused. Although the characters are terminally boring, the story has some unique elements to make things more interesting. I guess itís OK, if you like this kind of thing.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12863&reviewer=407
originally posted: 08/25/05 06:21:34
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User Comments

9/12/17 morris campbell dull crap 1 stars
7/23/08 Shaun Wallner This movie has some great scenes in it. 4 stars
3/19/07 Jim Vin Diesel called ... he want's Pitch Black back! 3 stars
12/01/06 harry it was good but them creatures wouldnt survive outside they not ment for it 3 stars
6/12/06 William Goss Meh. Predictable yet watchable. There must be an uncut version, which restores the quality. 3 stars
5/10/06 chienne I only went to see it for Marcel Iures, he's MUCH better that that. 3 stars
4/21/06 Aldo really bad ..i agree it was way too dark !!!!!! 1 stars
4/03/06 Mike loved it,defininately 5 stars,loved the suspense and twisted ending 5 stars
3/23/06 mike movie was too dark to see most of the time - not cool- fuckin sucked 1 stars
1/19/06 Evil Wolfie God i hate this movie... Just terrible 1 stars
1/05/06 othree Couple stand out cast members, potential groundwork turned into SciFi chan crap movie. 1 stars
11/23/05 danielle i htought it was good 4 stars
10/29/05 chris a not so good film tryed to compete with the descent but failed 2 stars
10/24/05 DEEDeeDEEe Was this a Cave Documentry? Ņ I could have watched The Discovery channel 1 stars
10/20/05 Ariadne Christina Renee Gladstone Promising premise founders on lousy shot angles, awkward timing & incomprehensible scenes. 2 stars
10/09/05 Anus AWW THE ASIAN GUY FROM 'LOST' IS IN THERE! 3 stars
9/24/05 Aaron Smith Monsters lose their effectiveness once we see them. Predictable characters. 2 stars
9/04/05 Randy This movie lacks story, characters, plot, but the caves were interesting to look at 2 stars
9/04/05 bff A great film 5 stars
8/29/05 Tom Burns A thrilling, action adventure. 5 stars
8/27/05 anna it was aswome 5 stars
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  26-Aug-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 03-Jan-2006



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