CATEGORIES Columns, Cinematical


This weekend sees the arrival of a rather nifty-looking adventure film in which a bunch of seasoned spelunkers get trapped inside a subterranean labyrinth of epic proportions. Caves, as we all know from our deepest primal memories, can be deeply creepy places to hang out, but they're also really difficult to light, which is probably why we don't get as many spelunking thrillers as we'd like. Gathered below, however, are a handful of flicks you'll want to avoid next time you delv beneath the surface of the Earth.

'The Descent': Not only should you avoid this badass horror film while you're exploring a cave; you should probably avoid it for the 12 months leading up to your subterranean expedition. This well-regarded shocker (and its half-decent sequel) focuses on a bunch of people (mostly ladies) who head into a deep crevasse and come across some ferocious beasties. In many ways, 'The Descent' is a professional cave explorer's version of 'Jaws.'

'The Cave': If you're still craving some underground carnage, then join Piper Perabo, Cole Hauser, and Lena Headey on an expedition into a massive cave, population: hungry. Although hardly a classic, even by cable-flick monster movie standards, there's still some silly fun to be found here. Or least a lot more than you'll find in the imported knockoff known as 'The Cavern.' Sheesh.



'The Core': If you're planning to dig straight into the earth, you may as well use the nifty mega-drill that's being operated by Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo and Stanley Tucci. This is speculative sci-fi spelunking at its most egregiously silly; 'The Core' evokes memories of the late, semi-great Irwin Allen. Yeah, it's that kind of "disaster" movie.

'Cave of Forgotten Dreams': This upcoming Werner Herzog documentary is quite lovely to behold, but for some stupid reason, it's being released in 3D. And watching a 3D movie underground is a good way to crack your forehead on a stalactite.

'The Goonies': I'm not about to bash this well-adored mid-'80s semi-classic, but I will say this: If a group of clumsy kids wandered through a cave as loudly as The Goonies did, the flick would have ended with a massive rock-slide somewhere around the beginning of Act II. Children should never be allowed in caves.

Also avoid both of the 'Flintstones' movies. Despite the prevalence of caves, they're not very good films.