In a movie, when a group of cave divers are exploring caverns no one has ever reached and they are underwater, you just know disaster is around the corner, like when a guy in a horror film says, " I'll be right back," or you just bought a ticket to an Adam Sandler movie.
Rhys Wakefield stars as Josh - a kid working on a big time cave diving expedition led by his legendary father, Frank (Richard Roxburgh), and financed by egocentric multi-millionaire Carl (Ioan Gruffudd). Of course, while they are down deep in the cave, a storm rumbles in too quickly, leaving them, along with Carl's smoking hot girlfriend, Victoria (Alice Parkinson), and the goofy tech guy, George (Dan Wyllie), trapped beneath the surface. Their only hope for escape? Go deeper into the series of caves to follow them to the ocean.
Who will live?
Who will die?
Can the audience take a vote?
Sadly, Sanctum is a cheap film that never gets beyond the stock characters, horrific dialogue and some of the worst acting you will ever see. Even the 3D gets worse and worse as the movie goes on!
Of all of the tremendously disappointing and vomit inducing aspects of Sanctum, I am most shocked at Gruffudd. He was going to be the next big thing a few years ago when he starred in The Fantastic Four and King Arthur. Now, he's chewing up the scenery in a 3rd rate disaster film in the broadest and most ridiculous of ways. Yes, the character is supposed to be an insufferable ass, but this is going too far.
Writers Andrew Wright and John Garvin don't help matters. From klunky attempts to provide ironic, supposedly funny foreshadowing dialogue like, "what could possibly go wrong diving in caves?," to giving each character the most clichéd and predictable reaction to every situation, Wright and Garvin have given director Alister Grierson and the cast nothing to work with.Worst of all, they haven't provided a good reason to be diving into the caves. "Because it's there," might have worked for George Mallory, but, for a movie, I want a better motivation to give the situation some drama.
They say Sanctum was inspired by true events. I can only hope the people in the true event died so they avoid the torture of seeing their story portrayed this way on screen.
½ Waffle (Out of 4)
Sanctum is rated R for language, some violence and disturbing images.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times