Friday, 5 December 2014

COMPETING FILM SHOWDOWN - The Cave vs The Descent

Looking at film.  Sometimes two very similar films come out close together, let's see which one is better...

2005: Spelunking Scares Showdown (Match 1)

Two 2005 films had cavers getting killed by things living in the caves.  Because caves weren't scary enough as they were.


Round 1

TITLE


"This is not caving, this is an ego-trip." ~ Rebecca, The Descent.


The Cave - So generic it's dull.
The Descent - Nice descriptive title, but with a double meaning... a descent into madness or hell at least one character goes through.


WINNER:  THE DESCENT


Round 2

PLOT


"Hey, there's something down here...." ~ Holly, The Descent.

The Cave - There's something about temple found during the Cold War and a group of unprofessional cave divers explore a cave.
The Descent - After the death of her husband and child, a woman returns to adventures holidays with her daredevil friends.


WINNER:  THE DESCENT


Round 3

CHARACTERS


"I'm an English teacher, not fucking Tomb Raider." ~ Beth, The Descent.

The Cave - A generic bunch of the usual cliches..
The Descent - A group of friends.


WINNER:  THE DESCENT


Round 4

ACTORS


"This is not caving, this is an ego-trip." ~ Rebecca, The Descent.


The Cave - Some (at the time) average names, including the couple from Imagine Me & You from the same year.  Uneven performances.
The Descent - Minor British TV and indy film actors.  Mostly solid performances.


WINNER:  THE DESCENT


Round 5

THE CREATURES


"They fly! They freakin' fly!" ~ Charlie, The Cave.


The Cave - Pretty standard-looking flying creature mutated from humans by a cave virus.
The Descent - Presumably primitive humans who devolved into underground dwelling creatures.  Or not.


TIE


Round 6

HORROR


"It'll be fine" ~ Juno, The Descent.

The Cave - Pretty standard jump scares, one-by-one kills and body transformations with a lot of "look at creature FX."  Uses the caves as just another isolated location.
The Descent - A tense, claustrophobic film which for more than the first half of the film scares and unsettles with naturalistic caving mishaps and psychological drama, and once it sets you up hits you with the fleetingly seen creature.

WINNER:  THE DESCENT


Round 7

TWIST


"At first, I thought it couldn't survive outside of a cave environment. Now, I'm not sure. I think it wants to get out." ~ Kathryn, The Cave.


The Cave - Pretty standard "the evil has escaped" ending.
The Descent - Tries a twist "all in her mind" ending which fails to track with the rest of the film and does isn't clear how much or what was actually in her mind.  Hampered further by different endings in different countries.


TIE


Round 8

TESTS


"Fail. Fail. Depressively fail! One toxicology analysis revealed ketamin, that is a very powerful sedative!" ~ Dr Banks, Armageddon.

The Cave

  • Bechdel Test:  Two named female characters, only talk briefly and about how one me all the men.  Fail.
  • Mako Mori Test:  No one really has an arc.  Fail.


The Descent
  • Bechdel Test:  TLots of different named women, many conversation on multiple topics.  Pass.
  • Mako Mori Test:  Main character is female and seems to have an arc.  Pass.

WINNER:  THE DESCENT




Round 9

GENRE


"The noise she's making, she'll bring every one of those things down on her head." ~ Rebecca.
"As long as it's not on mine." ~ Sam, The Descent.



Using the Slasher Rules as generic horror rules...


1.  Warning:

  • The Cave - Not really, Not Followed.
  • The Descent - Dead animal.  Partially Followed.

2.  Sex & Nudity:

  • The Cave - None, Not Followed.
  • The Descent - None, Not Followed.




3.  Death = Punishment:

  • The Cave - Not really, Not Followed.
  • The Descent - For a few characters, Partially Followed.

4.  Never go:

  • The Cave - Ummm, cave system, isolated, etc, Followed.
  • The Descent - Ummm, see above, Followed.



5.  Order of Death:
  • The Cave - Not really, Not Followed.
  • The Descent - A little for some.  Partially Followed.


6.  Failure of:

  • The Cave - The usual, Followed.
  • The Descent - See above. Followed.

7.  Final Girl:

  • The Cave - One final girl, a couple of male survivors. Partially Followed.
  • The Descent - All female characters, final girl survivor. Followed.

8.  The Killer:

  • The Cave - Creatures, so follow so with look, etc. Partially Followed.
  • The Descent - As above. Partially Followed.

9.  Evil Never Dies:

  • The Cave - The virus escapes. Followed.
  • The Descent - The creatures are still in the cave. Partially Followed.

10.  Sequel:

  • The Cave - No sequel. Not applicable.
  • The Descent - Has a sequel. Unknown.

WINNER:  THE DESCENT



Round 10

BOX OFFICE


"Holly: safety first! I don't want any stunts this time.." ~ Juno, Descent.


Worldwide Gross
The Cave - $33,296,457.
The Descent - $57,051,053.

Budget
The Cave - $30,000,000 (est).
The Descent - $5,480,000 (est).



WINNER:  THE DESCENT




Round 11

RATINGS


"Yr." ~ Jason Thurman, Deep Impact.


IMDB

  • The Cave - 5/10.
  • The Descent - 7.3/10.

Rotten Tomatoes (Critics)

  • The Cave - $11%.
  • The Descent - 85%

Rotten Tomatoes (Audience Score)

  • The Cave - $28% liked it.
  • The Descent - 75% liked it.

Metacritic (Critic)

  • The Cave - 30.
  • The Descent - 71.

Metacritic (User)

  • The Cave - 5.2.
  • The Descent - 8.1.

WINNER:  THE DESCENT


Round 12

SHOWDOWN REVIEWS


"Holly was right! Boreham Caverns was a tourist trap!" ~ Juno, The Descent.

WINNER:  THE DESCENT


Round 13

READER POLL


"Holly was right! Boreham Caverns was a tourist trap!" ~ Juno, The Descent.


Even if you haven't seen both films, do the survey.



RESULTS SO FAR

The Cave - 1 (0 wins, 2 ties)
The Descent - 11 (10 wins, 2 ties).

The Descent is the far superior film, a independent film with legitimate scares, while The Cave is so generic and pedestrian.
.




Upcoming Showdowns

5th December
~ DUG.

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