Sanctum

One hundred and forty-nine minutes of sheer horror. Not because the film was scary rather because it was that bad. So bad that audience members were laughing while people were dying on screen. It was that badly acted and filled with some of the most ridiculous dialogue that I’ve heard in a while. I swear if there was one more clichéd line in the film I was going to pull my hair out.

On the positive side the film look stunning and the 3D really adds a depth and clarity to it rarely seen before. The 3D adds to the feeling of disorientation and claustrophobia the makers of the film want you to feel. At certain points I felt like I was trapped in small spaces with them or going underwater on a dive. Obviously they spent all of their money and dedicated all of their time on how the picture looked rather than the actual depth of story, calibre of acting and dialogue.

It went bad very quickly and at no point while watching the film did I connect with or care about the characters. Whether they lived or died was of no consequence to me. I really was just focusing on the scenery and cinematography. And that in my books does not a film make.

Esa-ala in Papa New Guinea features some of the deepest and least explored underground caves on the planet. Millionaire thrill seeker/adventurer Carl (Ioan Gruffudd – Fantastic Four, Titanic) is funding an exploration expedition into the caves. A crack team of underwater divers is led by Frank (Richard Roxburgh – Van Helsing, Moulin Rouge!), one of the most respected expedition leaders in the world.

A heavy storm hits the area a couple of days early and Frank and part of his team are trapped underground by the resulting flash floods. Frank, his son Josh (Rhys Wakefield), Carl, his girlfriend Victoria (Alice Parkinson – Where the Wild Things Are, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), George (Dan Wyllie – Animal Kingdom, Muriel’s Wedding), and Luko (Cramer Cain) have to fight against the darkness, rising water, lack of supplies, and the panic that they are feeling.

Inspired by a true story the film would have been much better served if they would have gone the documentary route. Instead like the water in the film it spirals downwards into poorly acted melodrama.

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