THE CAVE (Bruce Hunt, 2005)
Scientists and divers find a nasty surprise on their underground expedition in THE CAVE. Cole Hauser, Morris Chestnut, and Piper Perabo are among those making the fateful trip into the cave network below the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. There they encounter demonic winged creatures that are as dangerous in the water as they are in the air.
Early in THE CAVE there’s a great shot in the ocean of a diver squeezing through a crevice that he wriggles through somehow. It summons the suffocating feeling of claustrophobia, something which the rest of the film should have done but never replicates. While the monsters are the obvious attraction for THE CAVE, the scenario lends itself to concentrating on the terror of being trapped miles below the earth without a foreseeable exit. Emphasizing the natural tension might mitigate the film’s uninteresting elements, like the drab, interchangeable characters, the predictable infighting that starts almost as soon as they set foot in the cave, and the lack of humor. THE CAVE also suffers from a common malady in contemporary films. It’s all noise and motion that blurs the action to the point of incomprehensibility. With nothing invested in the characters and little ability to decipher what we’re seeing, THE CAVE plays out like a dull bombardment of the senses.