Canada (Québec) | 2023 | 87 min. | François-Xavier De Ruydts

A terrifyingly claustrophobic tumble into the unique sport of cave-diving, following two separate teams of explorers dead set on discovering the deepest caves in the world as they hike, climb, swim, and crawl their way toward record-breaking glory.

Producer Jenny Rustemeyer scheduled to attend.

Caving takes all the skills needed for rock climbing and mountaineering and turns them upside-down. Descending into a realm with no natural light, cave explorers rappel down chasms then squeeze through impossibly tight and often wet passageways into places that very few if any people have ever seen before. Subterranean follows two different teams trying to break two different records. Frank Tuot sacrifices weekends away from his young family to lead a team on Vancouver Island intent on linking two tunnel systems that will mark the longest-known cave in Canada. Meanwhile, accountant-turned-adventurer Katie Graham is in the Canadian Rockies looking to chart the deepest cave in Canada, an expedition that requires scuba diving at the end. Director Francois-Xavier De Ruydts has done an incredible job, not just squeezing through all the same tight, muddy, and cold fissures that the other cavers are maneuvering through, but doing so while filming. Even if you’re not claustrophobic, large chunks of the footage on display here will make you anxious. Subterranean will either inspire you to go caving yourself, or make you feel happy that you can watch someone, anyone else do it instead of you.

Andy Spletzer

  • Director: François-Xavier De Ruydts
  • Principal Cast: Franck Tuot, John Lay, Peter Curtis, Dennis Mitchell, Conor Howard
  • Country: Canada (Québec)
  • Year: 2023
  • Running Time: 87 min.
  • Producer: Jenny Rustemeyer
  • Screenplay: François-Xavier De Ruydts
  • Cinematographers: François-Xavier De Ruydts, Robin Munshaw
  • Editors: Tavi Parusel
  • Music: Grant Baldwin, Stephen Fuller
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • International Sales: Filmoption International