'Sanctum: The Real Story' explores the back story of producer/writer and expedition leader Andrew Wight, who teams up with Hollywood director James Cameron to make a 3-D feature film of a cave diving expedition.
In a time before Lord Voldemort, Lucius, an apprentice to the powerful queen of darkness, Zabravia, is ordered to capture and execute his brother Elias in a pitiful attempt to redeem ... See full summary »
Refusing to believe her story about cave-dwelling monsters, the sole survivor of a spelunking exploration gone horribly wrong is forced to follow the authorities back into the caves where something awaits.
Michael J. Reynolds,
The 3-D action-thriller Sanctum follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea. Master diver Frank McGuire has explored the South Pacific's Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank's team-including 17-year-old son Josh and financier Carl Hurley are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?Written by
The illumination in many of the cave scenes is clearly being emitted by studio lighting, and not the helmet lamps and glow sticks carried by the characters. This is most apparent in the final scene, with the glow-stick carried by Josh. See more »
Josh? Wow, your old man let you come up for air?
Oh you're kidding, right?
Oh you're gonna be in the shit.
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For a film that goes so deep underground, Sanctum is a remarkably shallow experience. Playing out like The Descent with more water and no monsters, it's a beautifully shot survival flick but it's populated with characters so bland that you won't care one bit if they survive or not. And you'll probably be able to figure out what order they'll run out of oxygen in as well.
In fact, it's not that surprising that as his sticky fingers are all over the post-production and cinematography, this feels like a James Cameron flick where the script never got past the first draft. So when Grrr, Aaargh (Frank MacGuire), Whinging Son (Rhys Wakefield), Millionaire Jerk (Ioan Gruffudd), Comic Relief (Dan Wylie), Woman (Alice Parkinson) and Expendable Foreigner (Cramer Cain) find themselves trapped underground, you'll be more interested in how they're going to die than in the clunky dialogue.
That said, there's some eerily beautiful moments of utter horror to be found. From the ethereal splendour of a vast underwater cave to the pockets of air bubbling like mercury on the rocky ceiling, it's a feast for the eyes even when it leaves the brain starving.
Yes, it's clunky. Yes, the cave is surprisingly well-lit and yes, saying "what could possibly go wrong" before abseiling into the bowels of the earth is utterly stupid. But it's pretty, has a couple of cool death scenes (the "hair" moment is horrible) and it's much, much shorter than The Abyss.
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