The Cavern

Starring: Sybil Temtchine, Mustafa Shakir, Ogy Durham, Andrew Caple-Shaw and Danny A. Jacobs Andres
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 18 June 2007

A group of explorers attempt to investigate and map a recently discovered cave system in a desert of Central Asia. There is an expert who is tortured by the fact that he couldn't save someone who died on a previous expedition; an acolyte who says he is more experienced; a spiritual person who wants to 'connect' with the caves; and the obligatory young couple in love. It isn't long before the batteries for their lights begin to drain mysteriously, and a member of their party is attacked by an unseen beast. From this moment on they are fleeing for their lives, with no way to escape the way they came. But they are running blind, with the violent assailant on their trail...

Right. What we have here is a Ten Little Indians scenario (there are seven in the party), set in dark caves, and played out with The Blair Witch Project scenario. What? You want more? Well, that's it really. We have lots of jerky torchlight, far too much panicked movement and loud arguing, and more screaming and heavy breathing than anyone can stand. Just like the aforementioned Blair Witch, this is essentially a cheap run-around with no satisfying conclusion. In fact, I defy anyone not to groan at the tacked-on and quite illogical conclusion.

It was practically pointless giving any of the characters a background or personality, because none of them are given the opportunity to display any of it. They are cannon-fodder, so to speak, pure and simple. Trying to tell the audience that these are 'real' people was just a waste of time. Compare that with something like Cube, where the occupations and personalities of the characters are the reason why they find themselves together in the first place. I hope there are no attempts to turn this into a franchise a la Halloween or Friday, because not only is this film totally uninspiring, but it doesn't even contain any quirkiness or in-jokes that might save its face.

Ty Power

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