Apparently, the hype from “The Cave” and the proceeding negative reviews for it really were up to par with what the film had to offer. As always, in spite of bad reviews, I put up hope that “The Cave” would turn out to be a fun, exciting, tense film, but I was proven wrong again. And let me tell you, after “The Descent” this is nothing but child’s play, a recreation in spite of coming out almost at the same time as Marshall’s horror fest.
“The Descent” was a gritty, edgy, violent, tense piece of survival horror, this is a meatless, dull edged piece of young adult fodder. Where “The Descent” was for the big boys, “The Cave” is the children’s table. It’s not awful, but in the end, it’s just lame. Really lame. Even if I was fourteen I would have had enough common sense to know this pretty much sucked. Unoriginal, trite, contrived, derivative, and any other adjective you can think of, this is. While I delight in comparing it to “The Descent”, really it’s just a retread of “Pitch Black”, and our man Hauser becomes a cheap knock-off of Riddick. Which is annoying, considering he’s been in a movie about being stuck in the dark with monsters, already. A group of people find themselves stuck in a place with no exit in the dark only to rely on each other. The monsters are an assorted bunch with no true source of nourishment despite supposedly being there for years, and one of them can sense the monsters and knows their every moves. Yawn!
The movie also has some pretty bad acting with Piper Perabo at her worst giving some terrible yelping noises at the sight of the monsters, Hauser’s acting is merely opening his eyes wide pretending he can sense the monsters, and whenever someone dies their grieving consists of someone giving a frown, turning away, and then snapping back in to action again. The rest of the cast are basic throwaway supporting players whom die and that’s it. They’re there to die. The end. The monsters are a lifeless bunch with no personality or dread to them. They look a lot like a special effects artists reject ideas that perhaps the producers found and decided to bring to life. There’s really nothing but vague and standard character emphases from the get go with the general establishment that Hauser is a scientist, he and his brother are competing for a girl, and the rest are the team they’ve assembled.
Ya-a-wn! Meanwhile, there’s your horrible stilted dialogue from the cast, which often consists of chestnuts like “Great, now we’re a part of the food chain”, and “Follow me or you’ll die”. Y-a-a-awn. Throw in some bad stunts, listless monster attack scenes, and many very poorly staged and choreographed ravaging sequences, and you have “The Cave”. And then when you think the movie can’t get any dumber, or idiotic, they tease us–or in my definition–annoy us with the possibility of a sequel with a question mark ending that was just predictable and routine. Bland, boring, conventional, cliché, and dumb are what make up this forgettable thriller in the end. If you’re looking for a safe, non-threatening action thriller with a little bit of blood, and enough curse words to keep you comfortable and your kids happy, by all means this is the right movie for you. But, if the adults are looking for something they can chew on, then please check out “The Descent” and give this to your kids.