literary_equine (literary_equine) wrote,

The Cave (2005) - A Critique

I got to see The Cave on DVD, a story about a group of professional cave divers who find themselves trapped in a large Romanian cave after an accident collapses the way out. The only problem is that they discover it is a subterranean ecosystem of which they now form part of the food chain.

First, I liked this film in that it was actually filmed in a cave (unlike Descent and The Cavern) and the actors actually had to learn how to cave dive. Pretty neat.

What I didn't like is that once again, Hollywood thinks we are so stupid they can have professional cave divers act like idiots and they can throw bad science at us and we're too stupid to realize it.

First of all, before I took it upon myself as a life mission to turn into Jabba the Hut, I actually was a wild cave explorer and I logged a pretty impressive list of south-central Pennsylvania caves. I know the inherent dangers as well as risks and rules to lessen those dangers.

Cave diving is, hands down, the one sport with the highest fatalities of any other. Professional cave divers follow strict rules because those that don't die rather horribly.

Now the divers in The Cave aren't all stupid all the time, but to further the plot they have them do stupid things. They also sacrifice common sense and even the most basic understanding of science:
  • When they are blocked off from escape, the people waiting outside had already been told it would be 12 days before any further contact was made. NO! In reality, contact is an everyday event. The outside party would have known within less than 24 hours the people inside were trapped.

  • The creatures inside the cave have the ability to swim more than 2 miles underwater without breathing and yet they haven't escaped out into the world through an exit sump that's only a few hundred yards long.

  • The exit sump dumps out into the bottom of a man-made lake and yet the pressure hasn't flooded the cave.

  • The room in which the exit sump is located is filled with fumeroles of flaming methane, yet everybody (cavers and monsters) have no problem breathing.

  • The cave is filled with a microscopic parasite that changes animals and humans trapped inside into monsters, yet has never infected the outside world even though the water in which the parasite lives flows out of the cave in several places.

  • In real life, when cave divers come to an underground river with rapids, they would never float down it trusting to where it might end. They rappel down the sides like they were descending a cliff.

  • If your equipment contains a part that would explode on impact, you don't take it cave diving!

In a nutshell, the film is an interesting diversion, but hang up your brains before you watch it.

By the bye, there are (shudder) rumors of a sequel.

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