Sanctum 3D produced by 3D’s chief resurrection officer, James Cameron, is an action packed thriller following a team of extreme divers on an ill-fated expedition to Esa-Ala caves. Apparently Sanctum is influenced on a real life drama where film producer Andrew Wight, a long term colleague of James Cameron, found himself along with 14 other members of his expedition trapped underground following a freak tropical storm in a cave system.
The film stars Richard Roxburgh as Frank McGuire, a hardcore master diver who, along with his son and several other divers are on an expedition to map an underwater cave system in Papua New Guinea. Following a tropical storm the drama unfolds as the team get stuck underground in a rapidly flooding cavern. With communications to the surface damaged the divers decide the only way out is to follow Frank as he attempts to lead them to safety through the complex and uncharted cave system. Without wishing to leave too many spoilers it’s fare to say you can assume deaths and chaos as light, air and space itself diminish.
The 3D Blu-ray
The 3D in the film is native 3D with an exceptionally high quality throughout as you would expect from James Cameron’s techniques and rigs that were used extensively for this shoot. Check out the extensive coverage of the stereoscopic equipments and techniques over on Cinema Review for more detail.
Veteran stereoscopic expect Chuck Comisky (Avatar, T2-3D, Ghosts of the Abyss) supervised the 3D and as would be expected the results are technically excellent. However the extensive low light scenes did tend to reduce the impact of the 3D, the lack of light was especially noticeable for me using Panasonic Active Shutter glasses. So although well made I didn’t quite appreciate the addition of the 3rd dimension as much as I would have liked.
Extra features include several Deleted Scenes, a feature length commentary track plus a 45 minute documentary. This is on top of the 2D version plus the digital version that is included as part of the 3D blu ray package.
Unfortunately the film itself lacked real excitement, although it looked great at points, the storyline and the stereotypical fractious father and son relationship seemed contrived to the point I really didn’t care if they survived or not. The secondary characters felt two dimensional (not good in a 3d film) and Frank’s hardman persona left me cold.
So in judgement for Sanctum 3D: I’d suggest it’s a hire it and watch once, but I wouldn’t advise this as a must have keeper or demo disk for your 3D blu-ray collection.