This is a natural disaster film which actually takes place in nature. Rather than the confines of a building ablaze or a cruise ship submerged, Sanctum is a film about the devastation of nature within only nature. There are places which are simply dangerous for man to be in, and this is the focus of the horrific Sanctum. In many ways the plot of Sanctum resembles a horror film, as individual members of the diving team are each picked off by one disaster after another. Some obstacles are unavoidable, while others occur because of human error.
Based on true events, the film follows a team of divers led by Frank McGuire and his 17-year-old son into the largest and least accessible cave in the world, in order to explore the uncharted areas. When they are cut off from the exit after a tropical storm causes the water to rise, the team is forced to go deeper into the cave to try and find another exit. This becomes a deadly battle against the elements, and against the anxiety of being trapped. Certain choices are poorly made in the process, and slowly the team dwindles in numbers.
The action within the film is occasionally impressive, as is the setting of the disaster. I imagine some of this must have looked decent in 3D, but the dialogue and the characters make much of the film more painful to endure. For one thing, it seems a bit too long, even at 1 hr and 49 minutes. The Blu-ray includes a spectacular high definition presentation of the film’s strengths, while being able to do little for the remainder. Special features include deleted scenes and a featurette on the real story which the film was based upon. There is also a commentary track with director Allister Grierson, actor Rhys Wakefield and co-writer Andrew Wight. There is also a digital copy included.
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