US (dir. Bruce Hunt)
Cast: Cole Hauser, Daniel Dae Kim, Eddie Cibrian, Kieran Darcy-Smith, Lena Headey, Marcel Iures, Morris Chestnut, Piper Perabo, Rick Ravanello, Vlad Radescu
Synopsis: Bloodthirsty creatures await a pack of divers who become trapped in an underwater cave network.
Review: If you ever feel the need to watch a crappier version of “The Descent” that is devoid of any psychological elements and has zero character development, then “The Cave” is for you. This is one of those “super group” sci-fi horror movies where a team that represents the very best of the best (in this case, the sexiest, most muscly special-ops scientist spelunkers in the whole freakin’ universe – just call them the S.S.S.S, or S to the 4th power) is called in to go on a super secret, and totally dangerous, cave-exploration mission in Romania. And because Team S to the 4th power is just that sexy and that ballsy, they totally take the mission on and scoff at any local Romanian legends that suggest there are man-eating demonic creatures within the cave.
Of course, the S.S.S.S end up trapped inside the cave without any hope for rescue, or else the movie would have only consisted of Eddie Cibrian’s character (Tyler) making passes at Lena Headey’s character (Kathyrn) or all the male characters comparing dick sizes and punching each other out (because that’s the adult way to communicate anger). However, as Jack McCallister (Cole Hauser… yeah, who?) reminds everyone (and us), the S.S.S.S are the best, better than any other rescue team ever – even one that would have suggested keeping a team member above the cave entrance in case of an emergency – therefore they can simply rescue themselves.
It turns out the old Romanian legends of monsters in the cave were true, and as Kathyrn informs us, the monsters are actually people who mutated after becoming infected with a cave-dwelling parasite that’s all tentacle-y and eager to mutate the host into an “Alien”-like creature, but with wings.
Jack ends up infected, and as a result, can overhear any conversation, smell water, and understand the other cave mutants. He also develops a waxy pallor and cool eyes to boot. With his new abilities and waxy skin, he attempts to lead his team out of the cave before anyone gets eaten or scratched.
Unfortunately, every time something that even remotely resembles an action sequence occurs onscreen the camera goes all schizo and you can just barely make out what is going on and who is where. Not that you’ll really care however, since this is PG-13 fare and nearly all the deaths occur off-screen or are relatively tame in comparison to other cave-diving movies (“The Descent”) or other vicious monster movies (“Aliens”). I’m also not 100% sure what went on in the scene with Charlie (Piper Perabo) and the monster mutant straddling/humping her from behind, but I couldn’t really rule out rape because the two looked pretty uhh… intimate.
Poor Piper, she’s gone as low as playing a role in which she is mounted by a mutant in D grade sci-fi horror film. Poor Lena Headey too, she’s basically the half-assed attempt at providing the eye candy in this movie; there’s even a part where Tyler gives CPR to Kathyrn (Lena Headey’s character), but not before ripping open her wetsuit to give us all the small amount of boob this movie has to offer. Geez. There are also far too many fade to black moments, which I guess was just the director’s or editor’s way of preparing the movie for late night airings on the Space network.
I’m not sure who designed the cave interior, but did they really think no one would find it implausible that the icy, glacier room is located right next door to the methane gas-spewing flame room?
And just next door, Room#2
“The Cave” just feels like a generic creature feature film that’s missing harsh language, scenes of sexuality and/or scenes of violence. It’s like the neutered puppy of the cave-diving sub-genre of sci-fi horror films. The only originality present in the film is Jack’s slow transformation into a mutant, which actually helps save lives rather than result in any more killings and thus contributes to the general bloodlessness of this film. This is a definite pass unless you are really, really into cave diving. Otherwise, check out “The Descent” instead!