In Darkness We Fall (aka La cueva) movie review (London Film Festival)

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In Darkness We Fall La cueva yellow light

An effective mood of claustrophobia cannot overcome the fact that you’ve seen this all before, and better.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): I’m getting tired of found-footage flicks

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

A bunch of Spanish 20somethings — two girls and three guys — head to a remote island for a camping getaway. One of them has brought along his videocamera, so he can post stuff to his blog later, and at first it’s all drunken idiocy round the campfire and some “hilarious” sneaking up on in-tent sexytimes. But then one of them finds a cave entrance and is all, “Hey, guys, let’s explore the depths of this subterranean maze without any equipment whatsoever except a couple of flashlights!” Soon enough, they’re lost, with no idea which way the surface is. There’s nothing supernatural going on here, just an ever increasing dread as they wander, or more frequently crawl, through puddles and over razor-sharp rocks, and director Alfredo Montero — who cowrote the script with Javier Gullón (Enemy) — effectively creates an atmosphere of physical claustrophobia and psychological terror as friendships fray in the dark and stress and fear brings out the worst in everyone. But you’ve seen this all before, and the mood is overwhelmed by an eventual cheating of the found-footage conceit and a self-awareness that does not excuse its clichés.

viewed during the 58th BFI London Film Festival

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Mon, Sep 29, 2014 4:09pm

People in horror movies have never seen horror movies. “Let’s all split up and search for the masked killer…”
Since you’re still musing about “Gone Girl,” let me say that I might see the film despite the novel’s ending. I’m now completely broken of my habit of getting halfway through a modern novel and deciding I love the author and ordering at least one more of her or his books. The Cloud Nine guy, the Whiskey Tango guy, and GG have soured me with their novels’ (pick one that fits) a) non endings b) bizarre endings C) pointless endings.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Beowulf
Mon, Sep 29, 2014 7:36pm

People in horror movies have never seen horror movies.

Actually, here, the self-awareness I mentioned comes in the form of someone saying, as they’re entering the cave, “This would be great for a movie.” And they still go in.

I’m about to post my review of *Gone Girl*…

Tonio Kruger
Mon, Sep 29, 2014 10:05pm

La Cueva is basically Spanish for The Cave so I’m not sure where they got the English title from. Of course, this would not be the first movie whose title in a foreign language was not a literal translation of its original title.

Tue, Sep 30, 2014 12:36am

The picture made me think of The Descent. No monsters, though.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Jurgan
Tue, Sep 30, 2014 10:15am

*The Descent* is MUCH better.

Tue, Sep 30, 2014 2:47pm

Good to see that it’s well done, but at this point if the trailer looks like found-footage I need a positive reason to see the thing.