Directed by Bruce Hunt
Starring Cole Hauser
Reviewed by Byron Merritt
THUMBS DOWN FILM REVIEW RATING!
Thirty years ago a few Romanian military men went looking for the ruins of an old church, hidden amongst the Carpathian mountains. They found the church ...and something very unholy. During an avalanche that miraculously happens upon their arrival at this defunct holy shrine, the men are dropped into a cavern, a cave really. And something insidious is waiting for them.
Skip ahead to the present day and we find a group of excavators moving rocks away from the buried church. They discover the cavern beneath it, and within the cavern is a labyrinth underwater tunnel system. Lakes, streams, rivers, and dangerous curves. So they call in the world’s foremost cave diving experts to help explore the area.
Once inside the cave, the divers patrol its waters and discover strange creatures, like slimy moles, slithering around. But are these things at the top of the food chain down here?
As the cave diving crew drops further and further into the cave’s depths, members of their team gradually disappear in a most unappetizing fashion. Humans are NOT at the top of the food chain. Not down here.
And did one of those creatures have a tattoo on its ...um ...whatever that is? Is that the same tattoo we saw on one of the Romanian soldiers thirty years ago?
It’s just too easy to bash the hell outta this film, so I will. Ready?
First, the characters. I didn’t know nor care about any of these putz’s. Cole Hauser (who starred in PITCH BLACK, 2000) plays Jack, the leader of the dive team, and it is he who first finds the larger man-eaters that live beneath the surface. But his character — indeed all of the characters — are so underdeveloped that you might cheer as they get killed off.
Second, the plot. Exactly what was it? Was it about a creature trying to escape its cavernous cage (as the ending suggests)? Or was it a kill-off style film in the vein of ALIEN, ALIENS, and PITCH BLACK? I’m not sure.
Third, the creatures. An obvious steal from the aforementioned ALIEN and PITCH BLACK (big jawed teeth like ALIEN and the sonar capabilities from PITCH BLACK).
Fourth, the science. It take eons for evolutionary changes in any species, but the makers of this film would have you believe that it could happen via a parasite in a matter of hours or days. Come on!
The only (partial) saving grace for this movie was the underwater camera work. The caves were beautiful and shot in high definition. But, unfortunately, we don’t see enough of this and only get zinged with killer Pitch Black Aliens.