So I was thinking that it’s a good thing I’m willing to go and see the crap b-grade movies ‘cos Mark certainly wouldn’t consider undertaking such a task. After being disappointed in The Brothers Grimm, I set out the very next day to see The Cave – which appeared on Australian cinema screens with absolutely no trailers, reviews or other marketing. I actually wondered if the distributors were so worried of the content as to not give reviewers a chance to trash it. But guess what? The Cave is great.
Now, we are certainly in b-grade territory here, don’t get me wrong. If you look to your left you’ll see a couple of dud lines spoken by decent actors who’ve never quite made it, and if you look to your right you may even be lucky enough to see some clichés drinking by the lagoon. But The Cave is FUN. A bunch of characters (read: victims), lotsa darkness and some creepy monsters waiting to pick them off one by one… what more could you ask for?
This is in fact the great film Doom could have been. Cole Hauser leads the team of cave divers into hitherto unexplored depths, occasionally looking like he’s having Pitch flashBlacks. The rest of the actors flesh out the group without any standout performances.
The Cave might have a lower than ideal budget, but the filmmakers have done a brilliant job in getting their money’s worth. They stick to tradition and don’t show us too much of the monsters until the end, and when we do see them they’re great – unique, fierce and well animated. They’ve set themselves the almost impossible task of making a cave diving movie, and incredibly manage to make it work. (And guess what? Not once are proceedings lit by ‘some sort of phosphorescent fungus’! Incredible!)
There are only a couple of big action pieces, but they don’t disappoint. One moment had me almost cheering in the cinema. The score is provided by Klimek and Heil, two thirds of Pale One (the absent other being Heaven director Tom Tykwer), and create some great musical moments, hinting at well-known scores but never going so far as to mimic them.
I am so happy that I liked this film. A fun creature feature that has no pretensions of greatness. All I’ve gotta do now is sit back and wait for Neil Marshall’s The Descent to be released.Rating: