There are movies that appear to take themselves seriously but it’s still pretty obvious that they’re not bound to be blockbusters, even if they are fun to watch and engaging enough to get interested in for the duration. Stories about subterranean exploration are often seen as horror stories or thrillers simply because there’s so much that people don’t know about the various tunnel systems and underground ecosystems that might exist beneath the earth’s surface. This subject has been brought up the ideas for many movies that have gone on to expand on this idea by showing visions and nightmares that exist miles beneath the surface. In The Cave, which yes, could still use a reboot, preferably with Cole Hauser and Lena Headey back for another turn, the audience was shown a world beneath the world that’s essentially dark and filled with plenty of nasty critters that don’t like to be disturbed in their own environment. The thing about these creatures though is that not all of them are natural inhabitants of their ecosystem since what the audience eventually finds out is that a band of explorers were lost in the caverns during a cave-in and were subjected to a parasite, big surprise, that ended up mutating them into monsters.
What’s even more interesting is that these monsters weren’t unique since the abbey that this exploration takes place at, or near in the movie, is located over the cavern system where the parasite has dwelt for so long, changing whoever it touches into strange, monstrous creatures that adapt to the darkness in which they’re forced to exist. When a team of explorers and scientists head down into the system to check things out, a trip that is set to discover the truth behind the mythology of it, they stir up a great deal of trouble as many audience members are bound to see coming without any trouble. The Cave does set itself up for each moment that happens, but the fun part of it is that the movie is still fairly exciting since being in the dark and so far beneath the surface are factors that many people can agree would be terrifying.
Think about it, you’re deep underground where there is no backup, no signs of civilization, and apart from the lights that you carry, it’s insanely dark, not to mention that the darkness feels as though it’s bound to swallow the light if given the chance. Then comes the real kicker, there are things in the dark that are waiting to devour you, and the light doesn’t appear to bother them much, and actually draws them in a little more. That kind of terror is hard to find and really exploit since darkness in the movies is a very subjective element given that it can be broken up quite easily and even driven back in a large number of ways. But in The Cave, the darkness is oppressive in a manner that, if a person allows themselves to think about it, might actually bring on a mild bout of claustrophobia. And something else to think about is that this wasn’t one of the most popular movies around, and yet if a person allows it to happen, this story can grip them and twist every fear they have like a dirty rag.
Cole Hauser and Lena Headey help to head up this movie, as does Piper Perabo. There are others in the mix that the audience will likely recall from other movies and TV shows, but to be blunt and honest, there aren’t any really big names in this movie that would be recognized simply because they’re icons in the business. The whole premise behind this story is that no matter how out of the way it might appear to be, this particular abbey has been of great interest to more than a few people throughout the years, and despite the disappearance of one group this is not a deterrent in any way to those that come after, seeking to find out more about the hidden cavern system beneath the abbey, and what prompted the various paintings that are seen on its walls. In other words, curiosity is the reason why any of this happens, and as anyone should be able to guess, that same curiosity is what gets a good number of them killed.
This movie could be given a reboot or a remake and it would likely be shuffled back into the B movies once again, but it’s an interesting thought that digging deeper into the story could provide something that might be appealing to a few fans. Perhaps Cole Hauser’s character survived, or maybe the parasite was spread in a manner that could be seen as the next apocalypse. It could be interesting since the virus is something that could be seen to mutate in a number of ways.