The Cave is the kind of film that b-movie king Roger Corman got rich making. It’s good drive-in fare that mixes pseudo-science and spelunking and doesn’t demand much from the viewer other than to sit and watch the pictures as they fly through the air.
In The Cave bloodthirsty creatures—who look a great deal like the baddies from Alien—pounce on a pack of divers who become trapped in an underwater cave network. The movie plays on our primal fears of water, the dark and confined spaces and is most effective when it is underwater. The claustrophobia in those scenes is not quite scary, but certainly uncomfortable to watch.
Also uncomfortable to watch are some of the performances. The cast is lead by Cole Hauser—the great grandson of Harry M. Warner, the founder of Warner Brothers—who in recent years has become the poster boy for films that should have gone straight to video. Morris Chestnut, the likable actor from Ladder 49 and episodes of ER, acquits himself well enough, despite having to spout some of the most wooden dialogue this side of an Ed Wood movie. A little more humor worked in between the clichés in this script might have given the story a bit more oomph.
In all The Cave is a good air conditioning movie for one of those hot August nights when you just want to cool off in a climate-controlled theatre and give the brain a rest.