Prayer Focus
Movie Review

The Cave

a.k.a. Prime Evil
MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for intense creature violence

Reviewed by: Brett Willis

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Action Adventure Thriller
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
Featuring: Morris Chestnut, Eddie Cibrian, Cole Hauser, Piper Perabo, Lena Headey
Director: Bruce Hunt
Producer: Gary Lucchesi, Andrew Mason, Tom Rosenberg, Richard S. Wright, Andrew Mason Richard Wright, Michael Ohoven
Distributor: Screen Gems
Copyright, Screen Gems Copyright, Screen Gems
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Screen Gems

caves in the Bible

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer

There are places man was never meant to go.

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “A rescue team is sent down into the world’s largest cave system to try to find the spelunkers who first explored its depths. But when the group’s escape route is cut off, they are hunted by the monstrous creatures that live down below.”

The advance word on the street was that this film was built on the “Alien” formula, which in turn is the “haunted house” formula with the additional twist of someone being “infected” and “transformed.” And that’s pretty much correct.

In the grabber opener, a squad of military of paramilitary men climb the mountains of Romania to a little, isolated church which contains images of man being attacked by grotesque flying creatures. In the church basement is a mosaic that covers an entrance to a cave. The men are after something specific. They set a charge, blow the mosaic, and… through events which I won’t give away… find themselves inside the cave.

Cut to present day. Researchers, using modern technology, have discovered the cave. It’s huge… maybe 100 miles long… and mostly underwater. A team of biologists and professional cave divers is sent in to evaluate it.

While the expedition is being set up, we get token character development. The risk-taker who doesn’t follow orders. The big brother / little brother controversy. We might guess that all this is a setup for coming-of-age and reluctant-buddy stuff later on. Of the eight people sent on the expedition, there are two women, one Black, one Asian and one “older person.” So all the required formulas are in place. Now it’s time for the creature attacks. But of course there have to be several fake jump scenes prior to the first real attack, which doesn’t occur until about an hour into the film.

I hope I don’t sound overly critical of the formulas. Almost all commercial films use them (it makes the investors happy), and sometimes we get an engaging story in the deal as well. Not this time. I do have a certain fondness for this genre, but this particular film didn’t hold my interest at all. Aside from any offensive content, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, simply because it’s poorly written and poorly executed. The acting is adequate, the stunts are impressive and some of the cinematography (including the underwater work) is quite good. But the final product just doesn’t have what it takes.

There’s a small smattering of profanity. I counted very few occurrences, but one published review puts the total number at about 25. It sounds like there’s an f* by the military guys in the opening scenes. Later, the expedition leader says “mother…” but is edited away in mid-word.

There’s no sexual content to speak of. The female divers are sometimes seen in skimpy clothing beneath their wetsuits, and some of the guys give them extra attention just because they’re female. But nothing comes of it.

The violence is the reason for the PG-13. Most of the attacks are done in tight camera angles, so you really can’t be sure what you’re seeing. But near the end, we get a number of full-body looks at the truly disgusting creatures, and some views of gore. Nothing that hasn’t been done in many other films. Again, all formulaic.

There’s essentially no spiritual content. But by implying that the church was there to guard mankind from the creatures in the cave, and showing that the “defense” was quite weak and easily overcome by an explosive charge, there’s a vague hint that Christianity is irrelevant to “real” needs and problems. If you can call a made-up creature a real problem.

I recommend skipping this one.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/nudity: Minor

Viewer Comments
Neutral—I urge any would be viewers to skip this one. I love “scare” movies, but this one wasn’t even scary. I can only hope that the actors get another chance at a better movie. I work at a motel; one of our guests said his kids laughed at the creatures (he didn’t say ages of kids).
My Ratings: Average / 2
Stan, age 60
Negative—Beneath Heaven lies Hell. Beneath Hell lies “The Cave”, an incredibly boring movie that I had to struggle to stay awake through. It came across as one of those “Hey let’s make a few easy bucks by putting a horror movie out there” type of movies. The premise is that somewhere in Eastern Europe lies this old building, and underneath this building is an enormous cave inhabited by bizarre creatures that just love killing people. The plot is certainly interesting and could have been carried out so much better than it was in this movie. As it happens, “The Cave” is just another monster flick where innocent people get slaughtered while trying to find a way to survive. Some of the wounded turn into the very monsters which attacked them, but “Mimic” did a much better job with that idea. I don’t recommend it…
My Ratings: Offensive / 2
Edward Drake, age 34
Negative—…it was of poor quality …thru the whole movie… it was so dark, I suppose because it was filmed in a cave. I felt they could have used a dark closet to make this movie. I feel this was a low budget film and suggest people save their money for better things.
My Ratings: Offensive / 1
William L. Fultz, age 52
Comments from young people
Neutral—I think the movie is suppose to be a horror movie, and it has a twist to it that makes someone wanted to see what happens next. It is a excellent film, and I do not find it offensive.
Neutral—…a little boring and a wee bit sci-fi in the beginning, but the ending is so amazing that it makes up for some of the lame parts. It was really kind of bloody and violent, and it had many “scary creatures”… it probably took the Lord’s name in vain about 10-12 times, and there was …9-10 other “suggestive words” such as A** and D*mn it. Overall, I consider it a pretty good movie, and I would recommend it to people who like nature related, sci-fi, adventure movies.
My Ratings: Average / 3
Ashley, age 13
My Ratings: Good / 5
Rusty, age 17
Movie Critics
…“Cave” collapses on a dismal plot with flying monsters… Don’t waste a dime on this…
Tom Long, Detroit News
…A grade-B horror flick doesn’t have to be lousy; maybe the creators of this murky, dank, endless creature feature didn’t know that. They seem to have worked really hard at making The Cave unwatchable…
Christopher Lyon, Plugged In
…Though the movie attempts to be a horror/thriller/action-adventure saga, it’s really just an improbable collection of the staples of those genres…
USA Today
…For all those who continue to wonder why moiegoers are starting to shun the modern moviegoing experience, “The Cave” is all the evidence you need…
…schlock-horror cliché… slobberingly gory… Blood pours out of limbs, spit pours out of orifices…
Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle