<i>The Cave</i> (2005 film)

The Cave (2005 film)

2005 American horror film directed by Bruce Hunt

The Cave is a 2005 American monster film, directed by Bruce Hunt and distributed by Screen Gems. It was written by Michael Steinberg and Tegan West. Its story follows a group of cave-divers and scientists who become trapped while exploring a cave system in Romania, and encounter a pack of deadly creatures. It stars Cole Hauser, Eddie Cibrian, Morris Chestnut, Marcel Iureș, Lena Headey, Rick Ravanello, Piper Perabo and Daniel Dae Kim.

Quick Facts The Cave, Directed by ...

The film was produced by Lakeshore Entertainment and Cinerenta and was released on August 26, 2005. It grossed $6.1 million during its opening weekend and $33.3 million worldwide, against a budget of $30 million.[2]


During the Cold War, a group of Soviet and British plunderers begin to excavate an abandoned 13th-century abbey in the Carpathian Mountains. As they set up a dynamite charge, the floor splits beneath them and they fall through to the bottom of a vast cave system. They descend further into the cave in the hope of finding a way out and hear strange rattling sounds in the darkness.

In the present, a team led by Dr. Nicolai, with his associate Dr. Kathryn Jennings and cameraman Alex Kim, are excavating the site of the former abbey. They discover mysterious mosaics and an expansive river inside the cave system. Local biologists believe the cave could contain an undiscovered ecosystem, so he hires a group of divers led by brothers Jack and Tyler McAllister. The team includes professional rock climber Charlie, first scout Briggs, sonar expert Strode, and survival expert Top Buchanan.

After descending to the base of the cave, Briggs is chosen to scout ahead. While he contacts the team, he sees something in the distance, and the video crashes. Thinking the problem is an equipment malfunction, the team continues on and eventually finds Briggs downriver. However, Strode is suddenly attacked and dragged away by a large creature. This causes his water scooter to speed off and crash into the cave wall causing a rock fall, leaving them forced to follow the river and search for a new way out.

With no way out and a rescue team not scheduled to retrieve them for 12 days, Jack and Top follow the river together along the line left by Strode. Jack is then seized and scratched by one of the creatures that attacked Strode but severs its claw. Kathryn studies its cells and notices a parasitic mutation, which Nicolai has discovered in all of the cave's lifeforms. She explains that all known cave species originated above ground but have adapted over generations to life underground. Kathryn theorizes this new parasite originated in the cave environment and has never been exposed to the outside world.

The team eventually stumble across the equipment and remains of previous explorers, while continuing to descend through a series of rapids. Tyler sees Nicolai hanging onto the side of the cave, but he is sucked down into the current before he can help. As everyone starts to surface, they hear Nicolai screaming. Jack tries to save him, but he is dragged underwater. He swims deeper and watches the creature pulling Nicolai to his death, noticing tattooed letters on the creature's hands. As he regroups with the team, Jack's body begins changing as the scratches he received have infected him with the parasite. While climbing back up the cave wall to escape, Charlie is attacked and killed by a winged creature.

As Jack continues to mutate, Kathryn theorizes that the previous explorers and all the ecosystem's creatures mutated due to the parasite. Some of the survivors question Jack's judgement and the team splits up. Alex, Briggs, and Kathryn go their own way, while Top and Tyler stay with Jack. Jack, Top, and Tyler discover a cavern littered with human skeletons as well as a passageway out of the cave. As Tyler goes back to find the others, one of the creatures kills Briggs. Tyler regroups with Kathryn and Alex as they all run to rejoin Jack and Top. However, the creatures have entered the cavern and stolen the rebreathers necessary to navigate the passage. Top, Kathryn, Tyler, and Alex run into the river toward the passageway, but before Alex can get in the water, a creature grabs him from above, killing him. Jack sacrifices himself by causing a cave-in, allowing the others to escape.

Sometime later, Tyler and Kathryn meet up at a cafe. He asks if the mutated Jack could have survived on the surface. Kathryn says she had originally thought the parasite could only survive underground, but now believes the parasite wanted to get out. As she leaves, Tyler notices that Kathryn's eyes have mutated just like Jack's. He runs after her, but she disappears in the crowd likely to infect others.


Brian Steele portrays the creatures in the cave.


The Cave received mostly negative reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 12% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 112 reviews, with an average rating of 3.7/10. The critics consensus reads, "Despite its stylized and impressive sets, this horror-monster movie mish-mash suffers from endless cliches and wildly implausible plotlines."[3] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 30 out of 100 based on 24 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[4] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade "C−" on an A+ to F scale.[5]

The main complaint was the lack of character building and overly familiar cliches, with Neil Smith of BBC Online calling it "a generic duffer that is as exciting as a hole in the ground".[6] Robert Koehler made the same observation in Variety, writing, "The Cave feels familiar as it goes through the rote edicts of the scientific crew vs. beastie formula".[7] In her review for The New York Times, Laura Kern praised the film’s sets and visual style, but criticized the script as weak, writing "Having worked as second- and third-unit director on the Matrix trilogy and Dark City, Bruce Hunt is no stranger to inspired and stylish productions. But whereas those films managed to inject new life into tired territory, The Cave, his first effort as director, fails to generate anything resembling innovation."[8] Judy Chia Hui Hsu wrote in The Seattle Times, "the serenity of the largely aquatic underground world framed by majestic stalagmites and serpentine corridors succeeds in capturing the moviegoer’s attention," but added, "The insipid dialog lacks even a hint of comic relief, so the audience is grateful when the action quickly kicks into gear," and "one of the film’s biggest letdowns is that the vicious beast, seen in the full light of the final scenes, is not such a surprise after all. The creature is simply an amalgamation of monsters we’ve seen before".[9]

Box office

In the US, the film opened ranked #5 grossing $6,147,294 at 2,195 sites, averaging $2,800.[10] It went on to have a final US gross of $15,007,991.[2] In Australia, it opened at 89 sites, averaging A$3,204 grossing A$285,121.[11] It had a second-weekend decrease by 74%, and had a finishing gross of A$570,131.[12] Worldwide, the film has grossed $33,296,457.[2]


Two soundtrack CDs were released on August 26, 2005 by Lakeshore Records, one with the score by the film's composers Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek and the other one which features tracks by heavy metal bands including Atreyu, Lacuna Coil, Diecast, Burning Brides, Ill Niño, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, It Dies Today, Trivium and more. Also, the single Nemo by Nightwish is featured during the end credits of the film.

See also


  1. "The Cave (2005)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  2. "The Cave". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 2011-08-28. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  3. "The Cave (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 2011-09-26. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  4. "The Cave (2005) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2018-06-25. Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  5. "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  6. Smith, Neil (August 24, 2005). "BBC - Movies - review - The Cave". Archived from the original on December 24, 2009. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  7. Koehler, Robert (26 August 2005). "The Cave". Robert Koehler. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  8. Kern, Laura (26 August 2005). "Traveling Beneath the Earth, the Explorers Become the Prey - The New York Times". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  9. Hsu, Judy (26 August 2005). "Hollow feeling, monstrous letdown". Seattle Judy Chia Hui Hsu. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  10. "August 26–28, 2005 Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  11. "Australian Weekly Box Office". Archived from the original on 2009-09-19. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  12. "THE CAVE". Archived from the original on 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2009-07-05.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article The_Cave_(2005_film), and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.