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Sanctum FILM ONLY Review.
A couple of weeks ago one of my students was kind enough to lend me the film Sanctum to watch as I was saying that since my move I am limited with the amount of movies I have to watch here.
Josh is a 17 year old boy who's father, Frank, is a highly experienced caver and is currently leading his team of cavers in exploring a newly discovered underground cave system deep in a tropical jungle setting. The film begins with Franks boss, Carl, also an experienced caver accompanying Josh going down into the cave where they will join Franks team and continue to explore the cave system. From the very beginning it is clear that the relationship between Josh and his father is a strained one and that this will add to the tensions that will occur later in the film.
For the first I would say half of the film, I found it to be quite boring and hard to keep my attention focused on what was happening, it wasn't until around halfway through when Frank and another member of his team are exploring a new area deep underwater that things start to go wrong, with a low oxygen supply the female team member (who, I apologise I cannot remember her name) with whom Frank is diving, comes into difficulty breathing and after a failed attempt to share an oxygen supply she unfortunately looses her life and drowns, it is from here that I would say the story really begins as this tragedy sets the scene for a few disagreements between the team and causes a bit of a rift between them. With team spirits low and a tropical storm heading for the cave the team start to make their way to the surface for safety in case of a flood, unfortunately they start to leave the cave too late and due to the flood waters rushing in, a rock shifts to block the only known exit and they are trapped.
With rising flood waters and constant sometimes bloody and mildly gory casualties occurring the team need to stick together and find a way out of this caving system to survive. With low oxygen supplies and no communication to the world above the film follows the both the physical and psychological effects of being trapped underground in an unfamiliar setting and the ways that it can effect the natural human instinct to survive.
Usually when I watch a film that has a psychological side to it I find that I get really into it and in most cases I want to watch it again to make sure I understood it fully. However, with Sanctum I am afraid this is not the case, I found the first half of the film really boring and very hard to keep concentrating on what was happening, when I had caught up with the plot I found that I was spending most of the film feeling confused about who to like and who not to like.
Almost all of the characters change from the start to finish and I found that the characters who I thought were the 'nice guys (or girls)' at the start of the film were the bad guys at the end and vice versa. I know this is actually quite often the case in a lot of movies, but in this film I felt that just trying to understand the characters themselves was a chore without trying to keep my attention to the film and storyline.
I think the actors and actresses played their parts well and portrayed them convincingly, I think my dislike of this film is more to do with the fact that the storyline is quite frankly boring and not gripping enough to keep my attention.
The best parts of this movie for me were actually the stunning scenery shots and the views from the underwater scenes looking up to the surface. The story itself felt like one that has been done many times before just in a new setting.
Overall I didn't really enjoy this film and would find it really hard to recommend it to you. If you want a gripping underground caving style movie about being trapped then I would go for something else like the Descent, which is much better than this!
Sanctum is directed by James Cameron, which, after seeing both Titanic and Avatar really surprised me with how much I didn't enjoy this film. The stars of the film include Richard Roxburgh as Frank, Rhys Wakefield as Josh and Ioan Gruffudd as Carl.
Not really recommended unless you have time on your hands that you don't mind wasting...
Thanks for reading! :)