The Cavern (2005)

A shocking mess of a film, in every single sense. The direction, the acting, the script, the plot, the lighting, the sound, even the catering was probably diabolical. It was honestly a struggle to watch this unimaginably terrible piece of filmmaking without turning it off and hunting down the creators with a pick-axe.

The “plot” is this: bunch of repugnant, pointless people enter a recently discovered cave system in some country whose landscape changes every five seconds – a jungle, a desert, a rocky wasteland, a garden in Bristol – it never feels like the same place but it’s apparently Russia. They enter the cavern with one idiot muttering some mythological bollocks about cave spirits and then they, unsurprisingly, all become trapped. Clearly not experienced enough cave explorers, they failed to notify anyone of their intentions and didn’t think to leave someone above the massive cavern they all descended blindly into. Cue magical cave spirit embarking on a random murdering spree, killing people without the others seeing it. Then, as time goes on and the cast are whittled down to a smattering of aggravating morons, this mystical force turns out to be a physical presence, which is explained at the end (if you get that far) in a pathetic and nonsensical fashion.

Sometimes a horror film can be forgivable if the characters have enough energy and lovability that it overrides some of the other faults, but the characters in The Cavern are a bumbling laugh, clinging onto some trite nonsense about one of their friends previously drowning in a cave accident. These people are so bitchy and irritating they even continue to argue in the face of a cave-dwelling super beast. The script is careless and confusing, the deaths boring and some of the effects are laugh-out-loud appalling. The Cavern features campfires that are so clearly CGI they make Harryhausen’s skeletons look realistic – they have no smoke and the flames are inexplicably cut off at the top. By this time you already know exactly what mind-bending turdery is to come, and you’re only five minutes in.

The camera work is an abysmal affair; shaky, sideways, upside down for literally no reason. I can only suppose it was meant to create a feeling of tension and confusion that reflects the characters’ panic, but instead it is simply very very annoying. A drunk monkey on fire could have directed something better.

Despite all this, you may wonder if it’s scary. It’s not. It’s utterly confused and offensive. The explanation for the entity’s existence is a baffling answer to a question no one cares about, the solution being so wildly out of context it makes you wonder how it got past any continuity tests, let alone tests of simple logic. This “revelatory” ending is offensive and utterly disturbing, but not because it is cunningly horrifying or a cleverly twisting, but because it’s genuinely ugly and needless, brutal and sickening – a twisted fantasy at the end of a babbling, confusing tale.

Avoid this film like you avoid AIDS in the face – this film should be thrown into a bottomless cavern along with its creators. Watch The Descent instead. Watch anything instead.

The Cavern is celluloid defecation.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

One Comment on “The Cavern”

  1. Louise M says:

    Mind-bending turdery. I cannot tell you how much I love this description. Great review!

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