In case you didn’t know it, yep, The Cave is another movie set in a cave, the first one being The Descent. Granted, this is more of an adventurous venture into the dark than the claustrophobic horror of The Descent. The cast consists almost entirely of TV series heroes, which I am sure you will recognize. And as in the previous one, something otherworldly attacks the explorers in the dark. Exactly because of this setting, the atmosphere is intense and creepy. And speaking of it, it also features a decent amount of refreshing underwater footage. Something you’re not expecting from a movie with this title.
The script resembles a movie that was released one year earlier Exorcist: The Beginning, with the whole church thing. Without clear direction, The Cave tries to check as many items from the list of cliches hoping it will entertain you. And I have to admit that I was both engaged and entertained. The special effects were great and the whole movie has those sleek visuals you would expect from a blockbuster. The stunts were also impressive completing the action/adventure vibe. This is a fun little creature feature with an exotic setting and intriguing premise, but more about that later. For now, let’s dive into the story headfirst.
My God, we’re in Eastern Europe! Welcome to Romania, the country of Dracula and poverty where rumors of a hidden treasure attracted a group of intrepid explorers to an ancient church. They try to gain access to the caves rumored to be under the church with disastrous results. After some time, a team of scientists decides to explore the site. Led by Dr. Nicolai and Dr. Kathryn Jennings they are hoping to discover new species and map the cave system.
I mentioned the convincing special effects but I also have to praise the sturdy sets. The church looked positively terrifying and the cave system imposing, adding to the engaging atmosphere. One of my high school crushes, Piper Perabo from Lost and Delirious confidently led our motley crew. And what to say about Lena Headey apart to also check her out in Aberdeen and Dredd. If you’re looking for movies similar to The Cave, I recommend you check out Sanctum, La Cueva, As Above, So Below, and 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.
Finally, although it seems a bit odd, this movie is based on true events. And by that, I do not mean the whole cave explorers, weird creature thing, but the discoveries made in Movile cave by scientists. Among the species found was a 10cm centipede with a poisonous bite. In theory, there is no limit to the size of animals living down there. You can also check out this BBC article: The bizarre beasts living in Romania’s poison cave. Just something to think about.
Director: Bruce Hunt
Writers: Michael Steinberg, Tegan West
Cast: Cole Hauser, Eddie Cibrian, Morris Chestnut, Lena Headey, Piper Perabo, Rick Ravanello, Daniel Dae Kim
Fun Stuff: Andrew Mason, one of the producers, says they hired some of the world’s greatest cave divers as consultants to keep the movie as technically plausible as possible.