Caved In: Prehistoric Terror
Christopher Atkins as John Palmer
Colm Meaney as Vincent
Angela Featherstone as Samantha Palmer
Monica Birladeanu as Sophie
David Palffy as Marcel
Chelan Simmons as Emily Palmer
Stevie Mitchell as Miles Palmer
Directed by Richard Pepin
On the next Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Chief Miles O’Brien fights giant rhinoceros beetles! Well, that would still be better than that stupid baseball episode. Instead, we get another average SciFi Channel movie. Unlike some of their other movies, this one is not so terrible you want to gouge out your eyes and ears to become blind and deaf to the world. Now, that doesn’t make this movie any good. It is just as far from good as it is from bad in many places. In fact, at some points it’s laughable, and several of the characters are never in any danger at all, as the movie is incapable of doing anything inventive like kill off a member of the main family. The problem with the predictability is the film becomes uninteresting. While not committing the ultimate SciFi Channel sin of being boring, it is not anything you’d sit around and catch the second running of. Watch, rinse, forget. Not many films are brave enough to specialize an obscure beetle, but I bet the writer saw a special on the Discovery Channel that mentioned that rhinoceros beetles are proportionally the strongest animals on the planet. Some gears started to crank, electricity began to flow, the light bulb started to flicker…Bingo: make them huge! That also somehow makes them prehistoric, and meat eaters. Since real rhinoceros beetles only eat fruit and rotting wood, they are only dangerous to Jack Pumpkinhead from The Marvelous Land of Oz. He is nowhere to be found, though it would have made the film that much cooler. Instead of that weird fun, we have to put up with the Palmers. Not the Palmers from 24, but these are some professional outdoors adventure guides who show rich people around in the outside while overcoming the troubles of modern families like homework and teenage girls hogging the bathroom.
Caved In: Prehistoric Terror follows the Type B SciFi Channel monster movie formula: Large Swarms of similar creatures with a Giant Queen terrorize a group (similar films: Pterodactyl and Snakehead Terror.) Type A SciFi Channel monster movie formula: A singular or small group (4 or less) of monsters terrorize a group(similar films: Frankenfish and Manticore.) Type C SciFi Channel monster movie formula: A swarm of monsters with no queen terrorize a group (similar films: Komodo vs. Cobra and Curse of the Komodo.) Now that we’ve outlined the basic three plots, we can jump into the film itself, starting with the characters.