Directed by: Alister Grierson
I recently had the chance to experience Executive Producer James Cameron's film, SANCTUM, and the more time I have had to look back and think about it, the more I realize just how much I enjoyed this film. Before we go any further, here is the films synopsis from imdb.com:
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?
I said that I had a chance to experience this film, instead of just watch it, because that is what you really do with this film. You don't just sit and watch like you do a comedy or even other action/adventure films. You are thrown into the depths of the caves on screen and you feel like you are there right along with the actors. You feel trapped when they do, and at some points, I actually felt the panic of being stuck in an underwater cave with a dwindling air supply and limited visibility. Again, you don't just watch this film, you experience it.
While not a true Horror film, I felt the film worthy of a mention on this blog because it is a scary film, just in a different way than most of us Horror fans are used to. This is a different kind of scary....a real kind that you know that can actually happen. Don't get me wrong, there are still some regular Horror elements scattered about....including dead bodies, and even a couple of small gore scenes. While not scary in terms of startles or jump scares, it is scary just in terms of feeling trapped and helpless, and realizing that there is no escape. It is a true feeling of hopelessness that extends from the screen to the seats. You experience the joys and pains of these characters and become deeply involved in them, even when you realize what their final outcome is going to be.
On a technical note, the film is brilliant in terms of cinematography. The beautiful exterior shots of the vast open jungle landscape above the cave system is a startling contrast to the small, confined spaces in the caves below. While the acting in the film is a mix, overall it is good and the one or two not so great performances does not take away from the complete experience of the film. I highly recommend this film and suggest you try to see it while still in the theater. The 3D aspect, while not necessary to enjoy the film, was a very cool enhancement to this movie and really opened up the caves and made you feel like you were in there with them. The huge underwater rooms that the divers come to look amazing in 3D. I am not sure how this will translate to the smaller screens once the film hits DVD, so try to see it in the theater if at all possible!
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to visit the film's official website