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Sanctum

A movie directed by Alister Grierson

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A Beautiful B Movie...nothing more

  • Jul 4, 2011
Rating:
-2
“Sanctum” is a film about a group of people who aren’t very comfortable in the real world, with its messy relationships and mortgage payments, mixed motivations and emotional complexity and such. They prefer to spend their time exploring subterranean landscapes, alternately climbing and diving their way through lost parts of the world. They seem some stunningly amazing and beautiful sights along the way, and also face life and death situations almost every day.

It’s odd how much that description also fits the filmmakers of “Sanctum.” Led by James Cameron, who has never been known for his subtle characterizations, the film is filled with stock characters and a wooden, predictable storyline. But oh my gosh, the things you will see along the way. The caves are incredible, and no expense has been spared on the landscapes and scenery. I saw this at home in 2D, and for once, I wished I was in an IMAX theater, watching it in 3D. Cameron developed the 3D technology for “Avatar” that everyone’s using now; for my money, he’s the only director using it well enough to justify the extra price of admission.

But that doesn’t make this a great movie, only a visually stunning, beautiful one. It’s a standard disaster/survival story; the characters get stuck in the caves and must find a way out, and the group dwindles and people die in horrific ways at regular intervals. If you can’t pick which one will actually survive, you probably just haven’t seen enough films like this. And there are a ton of films like this, but perhaps none as literally beautiful as this one. That’s something, at least.
A Beautiful B Movie...nothing more A Beautiful B Movie...nothing more A Beautiful B Movie...nothing more

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More Sanctum reviews
review by . February 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Being promoted as “executively-produced” by James Cameron, the director of “Avatar”, the film “SANCTUM” directed by Alister Grierson generated some buzz in the movie community, and I was almost certain that it would once again display the advancements in 3D technology. I wasn’t really expecting much when I went to see this film; it was inspired by true events when one of the writers of its script Andrew Wright experienced an event that almost cost them their …
review by . July 18, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*1/2 out of ****     "Sanctum" is a full-time underwater cave adventure that bears the spirit of a good thriller, but none of the quality. Executive Produced and "presented" by "King of the World" James Cameron, the movie is the kind that I'd never thought I'd see turn up. It's a movie that was essentially destined to be good, but then the wrong filmmaker got a hold of it, and all went to bloody hell. And that's too bad, because I desperately wanted to enjoy it.    And …
review by . March 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
It's all about survival
Caves are awesome! It has a life of its own, hidden below and underneath everyone's scrutiny. To go into caves, exploring what's in them, is an adventure of a lifetime. Virgin caves are what explorers go after. I'd have to contend myself with the tourists' fare. Still, there are less dangers involved and one gets to return without losing one's life and bearings!         Sanctum was shot in Gold Coast and not Papua New Guinea. The story revolves around …
review by . February 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Sanctum exemplifies what happens when innovation becomes more important than a screenplay. The story is contrived, calculating, and unpleasant, but never fear – James Cameron is the executive producer, and he will see to it that we gawk helplessly at the difficult camerawork, the authentically claustrophobic sets, and the 3D effects. Perhaps it was his intention for director Alister Grierson to experience his own private version of The Abyss, …
review by . March 11, 2011
Caving seems like a cool thing in theory, but in practice I'm sure it's not all that cool (except for those special few that do it professionally).  The element of surprise and the vast unknown is terrifying enough above ground and I'm not sure I would want to put myself out there somewhere in the deep blue sea, especially if it has never been "explored" before.       Sanctum is an adventure thriller that will keep you entertained (so long as you …
Quick Tip by . February 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Solid film. Probably not the greatest film ever made but is enjoyed it. It reminded me of Into Thin Air, but for caves.
About the reviewer
Willie Krischke ()
Ranked #63
I write reviews for the Durango Telegraph, Indian Life, StudentSoul.org, TheKnifeFight.com, and other publications from time to time.
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About this movie

Wiki

Sanctum is a 2011 3D adventure drama film directed by Alister Grierson and executive produced by James Cameron.

Plot: 

During an underwater cave exploration in Papua New Guinea, five people are trapped when a cyclone starts flooding the cave. With the water going up and the air running out, their only hope of survival is to travel through the unexplored underwater caves following the course of the river that leads into the ocean.

The film begins with the explorers 17-year-old Josh (Rhys Wakefield), expedition bank-roller Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffudd) and his girlfriend Victoria (Alice Parkinson), reaching the cave by helicopter at the Esa'ala Cave site.

Upon reaching the cave it is made known that Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh), Josh's father and a master diver, has already set up a forward base camp deep inside the cave. The team has been exploring the cave system for months, and have set up an excellent communication network that allows communication with the camp from above. While Victoria and Josh rappel down the cave, Carl chooses to dive and parachute into it, reaching the base camp before Josh and Victoria.

While the guests get comfortable, Frank and diver Judes (Allison Cratchley) decide to explore an unexplored section of the cave known as Devil's Restriction. Squeezing through a narrow passage they reach a giant cavern with huge ...

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Details

Director: Alister Grierson
Release Date: 4 February 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: John Garvin, Andrew Wight
Runtime: 109 min
First to Review
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