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I recently caught Sanctum in 3D. Do you remember Sanctum? I’m not sure many people do, though I did find it worth checking out. The 3D effects are pretty good (definitely above average) which makes sense being that they were filmed with the same technology James Cameron used to film Avatar (Cameron gets producer credit here). The underwater scenery is pretty spectacular as well. This is probably the best underwater stuff filmed since The Abyss.
Keep in mind this is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination; it is merely in the average to good range. The lead performances, other than fantastic Australian actor Richard Roxburgh, are very hit and miss. For example, Rhys Wakefield, who plays Roxburgh’s son, gives a pretty awful performance. He can’t do much besides show the extreme sides of emotions like anger and sadness. Ioan Gruffud is similarly bad. He isn’t asked to do much more than give a cocky rich-boy performance but can’t quite do that properly.
The story is also all over the place, at least until the action gets going. There are moments where exposition is delivered over a few clunky lines, and then there are later moments of genuinely good father-son bonding between Roxburgh and Wakefield. The script could definitely have used some fine-tuning, as the story’s second half is much stronger than its opening half. There are some genuine moments of terror presented towards the end, many of which revolve around decreasing levels of oxygen, light, and finally sanity.
I was somewhat expecting this film to ape other under-water or otherwise subterranean films, like The Cave and The Descent. But it really doesn’t do that at all. The underwater scenes are fairly artfully filmed as well as competently directed. One scene, involved a collapsed cavern and a Japanese tank, is a marvel to watch. Sanctum begins in a fairly cliched, nondescript manner. However, it ends up being a decent film with some great special effects mixed in. By no means is it fantastic, but in its own way it occasionally flashes brilliance.