La cueva (In Darkness We Fall) Review

Posted: October 3, 2014 in 2014 Fantasy FilmFest, Foreign, Horror, Reviews, Thriller
Tags: , , , ,

in-darkness-we-fallThe only good that could possible come out of widespread viewing of the latest group underground, found footage, schlock horror film known as La cueva or In Darkness We Fall is if audiences united after suffering through it and demanded a moratorium on trapped underground movies or found footage movies or, at a minimum, trapped underground found footage movies. It’s not going to happen, but it is nice to think that every film, not matter how awful, has an opportunity to make a lasting contribution to the arts.

For those who are fans of four-word movies reviews, please feel free to choose among the following for La cueva: a) If found, don’t return, b) Bury this one deeply, or c) (in homage to its Spanish origins) No mas, pro favor. And a special shout out to the German distributor of the film, who came up with this spoiler-soaked title, Die Höhle: Überleben ist ein Instinkt. Keine Wahl, which with a colon and a period, may set a modern-era record for punctuation in a film title, and translates to The Cave: Survival is an Instinct. No Choice. The translator’s previous work includes titling the Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet film from a years back that is now known throughout Germany as The Titanic: Sinking ship is the ultimate cockblock. No kidding.

Five young and beautiful Spaniards (actually make that four beautiful – one of the three guys has that psycho, uggo sheen to him from the get go) are on vacation in a National Geographic, picture perfect location (the island of Formentera) that is also completely deserted. What to do when you wake up in Paradise with a hangover? Well, of course – you crawl into a cave and get hopelessly lost. But is that any reason to ruin your vacation? Hells to the bells no, just whip out your video camera, record the whole thing, and think about how you’ll look back and laugh at the time you went on that cannibalistic holiday. Ah, youth…

Thank goodness that the five who descend into the cave on this occasion didn’t bring along an ordinary video camera. They are packing Super Camera, featuring infinite battery power, night vision, long-range multiple microphones, total immersion waterproofing, and, for the first time ever seen (or, at least, the first time since the last time that a found footage movie committed this faux pas), the seeming ability to split into two separate, but equal cameras.

La cueva is an 80-minute movie in which the first jolt comes 60 minutes into the proceedings. Overall, there is exactly one good, grisly scene that aficionados of the genre wait for, and that is not an acceptable ratio for a horror movie. The unintended highlight of the film is when the group draws straws, and the most annoying one gets the short end of the stick. It is the only moment that prompts a cheer from the viewer.

Yes, the cave appears amazing, but if that is the point of the exercise, make a documentary. Director Alfredo Montero, who is credited with co-writing the screenplay and the cinematography, shows himself capable of capturing a beautiful and compelling landscape in the first few minutes of the film before the group switches on the video camera. Montero and every young director should confront the fact that resorting to the found footage gimmick is nothing more than intellectual laziness. If you want to be a filmmaker, make a real film.

One star.

 

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