I have to admit, when this film came out in theaters, I was not interested in seeing it at all, and it was only under the prodding of friends that I decided to give Neil Marshall’s film a chance. This was not because I was not a fan of Mr. M, as I may be one of the rare few this side of the Atlantic to seek out and purchase a copy of Dog Soldiers (they’re werewolves, and they’re killing machines!), it was merely the fact that movies with people completely covered in blood and being chased by what I could only gather to be some sort of subterranean Deliverance offspring don’t really blow my hair back (unless the movie is actually Deliverance, because Burt Reynolds is so my man!). Boy, was I wrong. Marshall’s film is so much more than that, a horror film about a group of people who aren’t frightened into paralysis by their tormentors, a group of people who take matters into their own hands (Craven did it with groundbreaking zest in Last House on the Left). And wait, this group of cave divers, they’re all women? Wait, no man is around to help rescue them? That’s right, Marshall’s film revolves around a group of women not stereotyped into helplessness like so many in the cinematic tradition, women who fend for themselves and take care of business. And I don’t know how the film ended in theaters, but watching Marshall’s film as he intended it to end on the director’s cut DVD was like watching a film that takes it to next level, and frankly, I don’t know how else it could have ended. Bravo, Mr. M, on breaking the women as victims mold and giving us something to get excited about.
Hmmm, I’m noticing something, here. It seems that filmmakers like to embed horror films with social messages. There must be something about calamitous scenarios that are conducive to interpreting erroneous social paradigms. Someone should be teaching a class on this stuff.