Review – Sanctum

There are 3 things in life that I just don’t understand; Emo kids, people who take photos of fireworks and cave divers. Some people call cave diving an extreme sport but it can’t really be a sport when the whole point of the exercise is to not die, which is more easily said than done after sitting through ‘Sanctum’ and I have a whole level of respect for anyone crazy enough to give it a go…and survive. ‘Sanctum’ is the story of a cave diving team who are exploring an underground cave system when a furious cyclone washes away their only escape. Low on equipment the team set out to explore the unknown underground cave system with hopes of finding an exit but it’s no easy task, make a mistake and you’re dead. ‘Sanctum’ is the latest 3D extravaganza from executive producer James Cameron that tries to break the mould of the disaster/survival film with some sharp visuals and good use of 3D, but in the end amplifies everything that’s bad about the genre.

‘Sanctum’ is a good looking film, all the underwater sequences are well shot and you get a great feel for the underwater cave environments. With the addition of the 3D you really feel like you’re exploring the caves with the characters. From the wide open spaces to the odd tight squeeze it’s an intense experience that will have people who are claustrophobic squirming in their seats. Director Alister Grierson has done a fine job and you can tell he learnt a lot from the underwater guru James Cameron, you can feel his guiding hand with every shot. Credit must also go to director of photography Jules O’Loughlin for capturing great underwater visuals.

The action sequences are thrilling but at times can be a little too predictable as another character bites the dust or has to make a tough decision as to who lives or dies. In the beginning it’s fine but after it happens for the third or fourth time it just becomes annoying.

The acting is melodramatic with your standard cardboard cut out disaster flick characters. The main cast try their best but are stuck with some of the worst dialogue ever. Due to a majority of the cast being Australian they all have to speak like Crocodile Dundee with lines like, ‘in a minute this place will be flooded like a blocked dunny,’ and ‘your blood will fizz up like a dropped tinny,’ and it gets worse, a lot worse. If you’re an Australian and thought the days of tourists coming up to you slack jawed and saying ‘G’day Mate!’ are over, think again, the dialogue in Sanctum plays up to every Australian stereotype you can think of.

Overall Sanctum is a thrilling 3D underwater adventure that plays out more like a B-movie disaster/survival film that will have you erasing cave diving off your bucket list.


The Popcorn Junkie