Late August is the time studios drop what is left in the vault on unsuspecting audiences. The Cave is one of those vault films which probably should have gone directly to video.
The setting is Romania in a forest where an ancient 13th century church is lost deep in a the monunains. The Abbey is built over a gigantic cave system and as the film opens the cold war is on and a group of local explorers enter the church and discover an opening in the floor which leads to the caves. As they enter the entire church falls into the cavern and the opening is covered over.
Now a team of spelunker scuba divers venture into the caverns, we don't know why, placing themselves a mile down under ground in a series of tunnels, streams and caves filled with weird mutated beings which resemble the creatures from Alien. The process is the usual, picking them off one by one as they realize even with their super equipment which allows them to breath underwater for 24 hours isn't going to help.
First time director Bruce Hunt does impart a sense of claustrophobia from time to time as the explorers attempt to find a way out of their dilemmas squeezing through narrow underwater tunnels and crevasses and the settings used display a certain grim beauty as the victims travel through the maze.
Unsealed caves are thought to contain undiscovered species and some are protected from contamination from the surface and will not change their ecosystem until being explored. This cave was changed by the original explorers in the 70's and very quick mutations have created highly unlikely monsters.
The Cave gives us a setting with dark confusing scenes and close ups which display action that is not clear enough for us to understand what is happening. Settings and movement don't give us the chill we expect from The Cave, only the missing script can do that, perhaps that's what the explorers should have been searching for.