Film / The Cave

The Cave is an Action/Horror movie released in 2005.

The story starts 30 years ago when an exploration team excavates an entrance under a Stone church in the Carpathian Mountains, and as they enter in a rockslide traps the explorers under the church, never to be heard from again. 30 years after that, a team of researchers led by Dr. Nicolai and his assistant, Dr. Kathryn begin to explore the area where the exploration team disappeared. Eventually they find access under the church in an underwater river, and a group of experienced divers join the two doctors in exploring further. As they progress along and begin to go deeper and deeper into the earth, Dr. Nicolai learns of the legend regarding the Church, which was built to seal something evil under it, and that Templar Knights would venture into these caves to fight horrid human-like winged demons.

As the research team goes deeper and deeper into the cave, eventually one of the divers is attacked by one of the more carnivorous inhabitants of the cave and causes his breathing apparatus to explode, collapsing the way out of the cave and trapping everybody one mile under, unable to go back and forced to go deeper into the cave in an attempt to get out.

As they go deeper, they discover more of these atrocious winged monsters, and they begin to attack them and killing them off one by one while the team attempts to defy yawning underground chasms, powerful underwater currents, and each other as they begin to learn more sinister things about each other and question whether or not they can trust each other as something begins to develop in their team mates...

At it's base The Cave was a very good stand alone movie, and while it was released at the same time as a couple other movies with similarities (such as The Descent and The Cavern), the movie was able to develop a cult following.

Tropes that can be found in The Cave:

  • Artistic License – Chemistry: One character says he can smell methane gas - which is a colourless and odourless substance.
    • Might be not the case. Said character is already mutated by the parasite, which heightened his senses.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Jack for Tyler.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. The Asian is one of the last characters to die and the black guy survives.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The caving team are quite quirky but very good. As Jack puts it when they're trapped, the people best qualified to get them out of the cave-in are all currently down there.
  • Critical Research Failure: Common sense would dictate that the characters shouldn't be able to have conversations underwater - since they have mouthpieces fully inserted into their mouths.
  • Covers Always Lie: No, the team is not attacked by a massive subterranean water monster. While there are monsters and they do travel through water as well, they're human-sized.
  • Creepy Monotone: Jack as the virus starts to spread.
  • Dwindling Party
  • Face–Monster Turn - One of the explorers, after being attacked by one of the subterranean monsters, begins to start mutating into one of them, his eyes changing into a different shape while also being able to detect the monsters in complete darkness as well.
  • Five-Token Band: We have the two white American brothers, the black guy, the female tomboy, the Canadian and the Australian on the diving team. The expedition also includes the east European doctor, the British female scientist and the Asian camera man.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jack blows up the last cavern while fighting one of the monsters to give the other survivors an opportunity to escape.
  • Non-Action Guy: Dr Nicolai.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The diving team of course. But they've all been together long enough that they're genuinely good at what they do.
  • Scary Scorpions - Our cast encounters albino ones in one of the smaller tunnels.
  • Ship Tease: Between Tyler and Kathryn.
  • Shown Their Work: The movie is inspired by true events. Around 35 new species were discovered in Eastern European caves in the 1980s. Romania itself has around 12,000 caves and there is no limit to what could possibly be down there.
    • The man laying explosives has VSSF tattooed on his arm. The acronym translates to Swiss Society of Explosive Engineers.
  • Tentative Light
  • The Virus - Anyone who is unlucky enough to survive being attacked by the underground flying monsters eventually turns into one of them.
  • Twist Ending: When the team finally escapes from the Cave, it turns out one of the doctors that entered with them is carrying the parasite with them, and vanishes into the crowd of people.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Kathryn and Charlie are the only women on the expedition.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Two girls on the team - trained cave diver and climber Charlie and research scientist Kathryn. Guess which one lives. Though this is semi-justified as Charlie gets killed precisely because she's a climber; she scales a rockwall before everyone else and gets attacked by a creature.
  • Was Once a Man: One of the monsters bears the same tattoo on its hand as one of the cavers previously seen entombed within the cave system at the beginning of the movie. Which bodes poorly for parasite-infected expedition leader Jack.