The whole plot is shallow as hell. There could have been some sort of depth between the characters like Josh and Frank and maybe that guy and his girlfriend. The characters were all two dimensional. The writing was probably the worst part of the film. It makes the characters do stupid things. I've seen a lot of movies with stupid characters, and these characters are really, really dumb. The girl for example refused to wear a wetsuit when going diving because she's an idiot and doesn't know the definition of hypothermia. All the characters as a whole were dumb when they decided to continue their little expedition when they knew a huge storm was coming and could possibly flood the caves thereby killing everyone. Why are they so stupid? It's like one irrational decision after another. The characters can't think for themselves. *SPOILERS* Ohhh and what was up with everyone drowning each other? The one foreign guy breaks every bone in his body (or so they assume) so they drown the dude! The movie makes it seem like drowning is such a peaceful way to go. It's really not. I mean not that I would know, but I read somewhere that drowning is actually really painful. It doesn't seem peaceful at all, but the movie portrays it as a soothing and calm way to go. Then when the dad gets stabbed in the back, he makes his son drown him to end his suffering...whaaaaaaaat?! That seems so traumatic for a son to kill his own father. What the hell is this? If I was stabbed in the back, I'd much rather bleed to death than to be forcefully held under water by a family member. What is with all the mindless euthanasia in this film? Was there meaning behind it or was it just poor writing? I also liked how like an hour after the boy, Josh, kills his father, he makes it to the outside world and survives. I wonder if he hadn't killed his father, if Josh could've gotten help and gone back to save him. Hmmm....I guess we'll never know. Stupid people.
The other problem I had with the writing was the fact that everything in the beginning seemed so incredibly happy and fun. The entire atmosphere was just filled with joy. It was so fake and forced. When everything starts out so happy, the audience knows it can only get worse and it does. The movie is not at all predictable, but the way things happen just seem forced. It doesn't flow together as nicely as it could have. The movie just wasn't executed as well as it should've.
Some of the scenes in the movie showing the huge underwater caves were really, really fake. I was surprised that it looked so terrible. I could tell exactly where the green screen started and ended. It was pretty pathetic. Don't get me wrong, I mean some parts with the water falls and cave tunnels and crap were really pretty and all, but the inconsistency annoyed me. In one scene, you'd see a beautiful underwater cave feature and in the next you'd see a huge almost clay-animated bunch of rock formations in a cave that looked really, really fake. It was rather weird to be honest.
The acting part of the film was just okay. Considering all the actors were given such flat characters to portray on screen, they did a pretty good job. It's hard to play a character that literally has zero personality traits. The writing and dialogue were the main issue in this movie that made it fail. If the writer had added a little depth, a bit of an understory and given the actors the chance to play realistic people then I think this movie would've been a lot better.
I didn't absolutely hate it, but it was a little boring to watch. When all the characters are obnoxious as fuck and as dumb as dirt...I can't really enjoy the film. It was just okay.
From the moment the team get trapped below it makes you sweat as they try to work out how to get through the maze of tight tight underwater tunnels, its all very visually murky and suspenseful with plenty of tight spaces and dark caves lit merely from helmet lights or glowsticks. I think the cast were pretty good in this despite what I've read with Roxburgh as the tough father coming across especially well with his gritty performance as he pushes the team forward.
A Cameron film so you do get flashes of 'The Abyss' yet not as exciting plus Cambo's new pet 3D was in use but I saw this in regular 2D and it works fine so wether 3D makes any difference I'm not sure.
Its a little bit predictable and corny as each member is lost one by one and the ensuing fight between the last remaining three characters as Gruffudd's character seemingly loses it wasn't really needed, that made it silly when it could of remained sensible. That did come across as though it was added simply to raise the stakes and try and make the film more exciting when really the claustrophobia of their situation was plenty.
Not sure why its called 'Sanctum', possibly down to Roxburgh's character telling his son that being in these caves was his life, they were his church, maybe. Very realistic and well made and NOT an action film if that's what your thinking or looking for.
Whoever wrote the script needs major lessons in writing dialogue. People here just talk for the sake of talking. No important information is being communicated to the viewer. To make matters worse, the dialogue does not set up how dangerous this cave system is supposed to be. They mention it's dangerous, but everyone seems to be on a camping trip, soaking up beers and telling jokes while allowing inexperienced divers in on the mission with them.
As an action film, the cave looks obviously like a set. The lighting is so poorly done that it makes the interior walls look like foam. Scenes are edited together with such laziness that there is no way to orient space between the actors and their environment, not to mention where the characters are in relation to each other. The pacing is slow and uneven.
Not to mention the terrible acting. and character arcs that are obvious and tired. Did I mention the clunky dialogue? From the opening five minutes, this movie sinks to the bottom of incompetent filmmaking and never rises an inch.
An underwater cave diving team experiences a life-threatening crisis during an expedition to the unexplored and least accessible cave system in the world.
Sanctum pushes characters into intense and exciting life or death situation but quickly turns into an incoherent and claustrophobic downward spiral. This movie claims to be a James Cameron production but the cinema giant was only an executive producer so this film sees little of his creative touch and it shows. The film follows a group of cave divers trying to navigate the largest unexplored cave left in the world. When a tropical storm hits the cave begins to flood and their adventure begins early as the exploration crew is forced to go deeper into the cave to find a way out or drown.
This film is not for the claustrophobic. The entirety of the movie takes place in a dark and tight cave. The camera is up close to all of the action in the movie, which even makes the viewers feel enclosed. This makes the actions and locations of the characters hard to follow, one stretch of the cave starts to look just like the last and by the end the audience is just as relieved to get out of that cave as the one's trapped. Despite the extreme peril the characters come out one sided. Almost no character development occurs before the team finds themselves stranded. Aside from a brief introduction, which shows nothing other than insanity or possibly suicidal tendencies, no insight is given into the characters. Even with these flaws the actor's do sufficient work. No one will be going up for an Oscar but the talent in this film definitely makes the characters more relatable.
It seems a person's mental state could be a focal point in a movie where people are forced to think logically and calmly in order to survive. But only a solitary scene near the end of the movie plunges deep into a human's motivation to live and just how far a person can be mentally pushed under this stress. If this factor was focused on it would have added a great deal of credibility to the film.
* Ioan Gruffudd deserves ATLEAST a razzie nomination. He was terrible in just about every scene.
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?