Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi | 80 minutes | drama, horror, thriller | Actors: Sybil Temtchine, Mustafa Shakir, Ogy Durham, Andrew Caple-Shaw, Danny Jacobs, Andres Hudson, Johnnie Colter, Neno Pervan, Kamen Gabriel, Cassandra Duarden, True Tamplin
“WIthIN” is a survival horror by director Olatunde Osunsanmi (“The Fourth Kind”) and is set in Kazakhstan. Here a group of eight cavers come together to explore an undiscovered cave. This just seems easier said than done. There is “something” in the cave: a kind of monster that kills the expedition members one by one and also closes the exits. Will any of the group manage to leave this hellish cave alive? The plot is reminiscent of the amusing “The Descent” (also from 2005), in which a group of women descend a cave. Can “WIthIN” reach the same level and offer as much entertainment as this big sister? Not really.
The movie has barely started or you already tend to look at your DVD player’s menu to see if the settings might be wrong. The color adjustment is just not right, the colors are way too bright and provide a nasty viewing experience. In the first few minutes we also see a campfire where the fire is so fake that you actually want to stop the film immediately to aim it in the fireplace and see if fire still exists. As the expedition members prepare to enter the cave, some hope glows again. Could they have deliberately made fun of the opening scenes so that the descent into the cave seems even more exciting? Unfortunately, this heap is immediately drilled into the ground, because once inside the cave the images are unclear and the faces are generally indistinguishable. The director is probably trying to create some kind of hysterical viewing experience; the film is about people who want to get out of a cave and keep going. But because the images are so unclear, it is not possible to get any connection with the characters. In the Spanish horror film “[REC]” they succeeded very well with this approach. It may be clear that the plot doesn’t embrace much, but why doesn’t the director just stick to the cave and horror? Apparently it was necessary to add another dramatic slant.
A drama that has taken place in the past causes a lack of trust between the expedition members. This event is referred to by means of a number of flashbacks. The problem is that after a single flashback you already know how things work for a long time. The other flashbacks add nothing to this. Not to mention the end of the film, which shows completely unnecessary the creation of the monster, so that the last little bit of mystery is removed from the film. “WIthIN” is failing in every way and could have been better kept in a deep cave.