[box cover]

The Cave

Water achieves its greatest density at four degrees centigrade. It is this that allows life to continue — surface water may freeze over at zero centigrade, but life can survive because the densest water floats down before it freezes. By this same principle, the worst movies are so bad that their density keeps them from reaching absolute zero. There can be something gratifying about watching a stupendously awful film — a nadir is often the mirror reflection of a zenith, and anger is certainly a more interesting emotion than boredom. Such is why 2005's The Cave is one of the worst films ever made — what makes it so horrible is the fact that it's not horrible enough to be truly horrible (which would then make it interesting). Cole Hauser nominally stars as Jack, the leader of a team of deep-sea divers who are called to a remote Romanian location to check on an underwater cave that has never been successfully explored. That's because there are monsters in the cavern that have evolved on their own and are ready to make prey of Jack, his brother Tyler (Eddie Cibrian), Tyler's ostensible love interest (Lena Headey), and some moderately recognizable faces (Piper Perabo, Morris Chestnut, Daniel Dae Kim) that register little presence other than as monster-bait. Shot mostly in caves that are so dimly lit that they're not so much scary as squinty, director Bruce Hunt does little to ratchet up much tension in the group's eventual quest out of the cave when the front door is shut by a rockslide. The nicest thing that can be said about The Cave is that the underwater photography is pretty, and the actors don't have enough to do to prove if they're as bland as the script. Without much comic relief or dramatic tension, the picture somnambulistically goes through the motions until much of the cast is picked off, a climatic showdown occurs, and a possible sequel is set in place — the idea of which is much more horrifying than anything that happens in the film. Sony Pictures presents The Cave in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras include two audio commentaries, the first with director Bruce Hunt, producer Andrew Mason, and special effects producer James McQuaide, the second with writers Michael Steinberg and Tegan West. "Into The Cave" interviews the film's underwater cinematographer Wes Skiles and the underwater unit coordinator Jill Heinerth (19 min.), while "Designing Evolution: Tatopoulos Sutdios" visits with creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos and creature-effects supervisor Guy Himber (11 min.). Also included are bonus trailers. Keep-case with paperboard slipcover.

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