99 min., 2005
Written by Neil Marshall
Directed by Neil Marshall
My rating: ★★★★
A strong horror movie that shows the dark side of friendship.
* * *
The movie opens with three friends, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald), Juno (Natalie Mendoza) and Beth (Alex Reid) white water rafting. After that is done Sarah and her husband Paul (Oliver Milburn) are driving with their daughter Jessica (Molly Kayll) when there is an accident and both Paul and Jessica are killed. A year later they meet up at a cabin in the Appalachian Mountain along with some other friends, Sam (MyAnna Burning), Rebecca (Saskai Mulder) and Holly (Nora-Jane Noone). They have decided to go spelunking in an effort to connect with each other especially Sarah. They enter the caves and after some trouble and one of the girls getting stuck, the way in collapses. Trapped inside they struggle to find their way out, but as they venture deeper into the depths they realize that they aren’t alone and some strange creatures are hunting them, but what’s worse is that dark secrets and feelings about each girl comes to the surface. What’s more dangerous, some monsters living in a deep cave or the monster that lives in all of us?
In the beginning of the movie I was sure that I was going to hate these actors. They start as pretty annoying girls that are very stereotypical with very little depth. But as the movie progresses, all of them (for the most part) grow and their characters start to blossom. Natalie Mendoza was really good at portraying a really nice girl that is hiding a dark secret that once it comes out, you get the feeling that she really does feel bad about what happened. Then we have the opposite with Shauna Macdonald who starts completely distant but by the end she is just raving mad and not just with Juno. So thumbs up all around.
The effects of this movie were some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Then again a lot of them were only shown very briefly so it was really hard to have any complaints. Now the Crawlers (as I’ve seen them referenced as) are done really well, and it’s really nice to see that they didn’t rely on CGI. They could have gone that route and it still would have been acceptable, but using real people and some sped up camera work really makes a great difference.
Great movie all around, with very few problems to be had. The only real problem I did have with the movie was with the characters. I’d like to firmly believe that all people (okay some people) have a desire to help their friends when they are in trouble. I do understand that when shit goes down people jump into self-preservation mode, but I’d like to believe that if I was running away from a bear and my friend had just tripped and fallen over, I’d do whatever I could to help him get out of the situation alive. Throughout the movie all of them seemed to be quite self-serving and that really didn’t sit that well with me. Now I’m not saying that making the characters that way was a mistake or wrong because it still worked well, but most of the time when I watch a movie (no matter the genre) I look for someone that you can latch onto and see that they are a good person inside, but none of these women seemed to be that and it just unsettled me a bit. Then again maybe I shouldn’t trust my friends because maybe they are all ready to fuck me over to live through their problems.Have You Read...?