Sanctum: Somewhat Shallow

Can you guess what one of my favourite shops is? Well,  it’s usually something to do with food, but one of my favourite shops not involving “noms” is CEX.

Ah, CEX – a physical representation of the Electronics eBay. One thing to watch out for is what you call it. A simple purchase turned into awkward unrest when I was told curtly by the cashier that the correct pronunciation was “CE-EE-EXE”, not “kecks”. I now call it “Charlie Echo X-ray” to be perfectly clear.

I’m usually in town every Saturday morning for guitar lessons. A trip to CEX is a ritual for me. One Saturday morning browse, I picked up an odd trilogy of films, consisting of James Cameron-produced SanctumRush Hour and Phonebooth. Unfortunately, Sanctum succumbed to sinking down my dusty pile of unwatched and unloved DVDs. What I realised is some sunken treasures are best left in the depths.

PLOT: In this diving-adventure-gone-wrong movie, a flooded cave traps five divers and one not-so-much diver where the only means of escape is travelling through unexplored caves to open sea.

The film has a lengthy opening, hurling different characters at the viewer like Paddington station during rush hour. I only hazily remember them merging into a broken record to remind juvenile Josh that fatherly Frank is angry at him for some forgettable reason.

The film suffers from all kinds of clichés. It’s the classic pick-em-off one-by-one slasher without the fun killer. Nature is never fun, kids. There’s that one person who betrays the group – bad use of the trope I like to call ‘Chekov’s Glowing Necklace’ – repetitive scenes – the father-son reconciliation – the list goes on.

It’s a shame, as characters had potential. They’re well-balanced and mingle well with each other. The actors squander that potential. Performances are wooden and dull. I had to pause at the film’s “heart-wrenching” climax and ask myself: “Do I really care about these people?” The answer was no.

The caves were pretty cool… when they weren’t CGI. The natural, tight, narrow caves captured the claustrophobia. I have seen other reviews praising the visuals in this movie (nominated for one award), but I found them campy. Maybe stick to Pandora’s moons rather than blue lagoons, eh James?

This movie could have been a hit, but it ended up a titanic failure.

(1.5 / 5)

Thank you for reading my first ever review! Next week will probably be about the new film Hercules. I realised the review I wanted to put up today didn’t really work as a first review. I’m sure it’ll come later.

Feel free to leave a comment! This week I will be trying to learn more about blog writing. I still need to get a feel for it.

Anyway, I must now retire. Tomorrow – well – today is Saturday, which means it’s almost time for Charlie Echo X-ray visit! See you soon.