La Cueva [2014]

Effectively using the found-footage style of filming, La Cueva is a hauntingly intense indie horror. I usually skip movies using this gimmick because they mostly turn out to be just cheap and commercial snooze-fests. This is not the case with La Cueva. While the first half was relatively predictable with sometimes tedious character development, the second half is claustrophobic as shit. Not to mention incredibly suspenseful. After we got to know our merry band of young hot-shots out to have some fun, we will see them fall apart as they set out to explore a small cave. The story is above all realistic and this is the thing that sets apart this movie from so many others. That and a pretty sharp cinematography giving it a great image quality. Especially considering the equipment they used.

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of movies set in caves. From The Descent franchise over flashy Sanctum to exotic 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. La Cueva remains authentic and apart from the found-footage gimmick offers an engaging story and little melodrama. Something I appreciated very much. It reminded me of another phenomenal Spanish movie filmed with a similar technique Rec. While all the frolicking before the actual spelunking began was a bit tedious at times, it was necessary. There’s even some nudity along with obligatory drinking, weed smoking and all the usual camping shenanigans. Set on a beautiful Spanish coast, it also features some beautiful vistas. If they only stayed on the beach and enjoyed the sun…

Five friends get together to have a good time on the heavenly island of Formentera. They spend their days just enjoying the nature, hiking and having some fun in the evenings. One afternoon, they stumble upon a small opening in the cliffs leading to a mysterious cave and decide to explore it further. Little did they know that this will be their undoing.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story as it’s one of the main things that will keep you watching La Cueva. Towards the end, the movie gets really intense and downright unsettling. So you should probably have another movie ready to watch after it. The acting was great and made the experience even more haunting. Marcos Ortiz as Jaco was especially good and believable. And I am still haunted by his asshole. The filming itself was difficult and I believe most of the scratches and head bumps are real. With a runtime of just under 80 minutes, La Cueva is a short and sweet horror. Well, maybe not so sweet but you know what I mean. It also explores the survival subgenre that’s so popular nowadays so it’s surprising that it’s not well known.

Director: Alfredo Montero

Writer: Alfredo Montero, Javier Gullón

Cast: Marcos Ortiz, Marta Castellote, Eva García-Vacas, Jorge Páez, Xoel Fernández

Fun Facts: Silver Biznaga for Best Actor at the Málaga Spanish Film Festival


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