Little to no script, limited range actors, weak direction and a story that plays out like “Aliens” or “Leviathan” but in a cave – this horribly bad movie turns out to be what you’d expect – awful. The idea of cave explorers coming across underground monsters isn’t a new one but it is a premise that right off the bat limits itself strictly to a certain type of audience. Those kind tend to be forgiving of efforts that are passably good or better, and spew virile hatred for anything sub-par or below and “The Cave” certainly falls into that last group.
Its a shame really considering the set itself – a complicated and partially submerged cave system under the Carpathian mountains replete with rapids, sulphur baths and ice crystals is an admittedly exciting place to set a story. Set design and location wise the film looks glamorous but with the empty vessels filling the screen and a camera too afraid to show wide shots, it results in complete misuse of the film’s strongest asset.
Indeed the film has little in the way of other strengths. The script quickly moves our team of characters into this cave system but with little explanation why. It comes up with a clever way of explaining how the monsters terrorising them are born but never explains how they’ve truly come to be. There’s one or two attempts to build character interaction but with no preceding explanation it leaves the assorted good looking but bland actors with little differentiation short of their ethnic diversity. Finally, actual suspense goes for the obvious scares but the inappropriate score and weak sound design yield little result.
Its a shame really, last month the British released a similarly premised but obviously lower budgeted film entitled “The Descent” which proved to be in every way far superior to this. “Cave” as it stands looks flash but lacks anything in the way or thrills or scares. A decent premise is wasted with dull scenes, bad performances, and all too tired storytelling. Its a shame that what could’ve been one of the more fun rides of the year turned out to be one of the worst. Laughably bad.