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SANCTUM movie by James Cameron

DiverWire Movie Review: James Cameron’s SANCTUM

SANCTUM movie by James Cameron(DiverWire) With great anticipation, divers around the world have been patiently waiting for the release of Sanctum, whether they expected to watch on a regular screen, in 3D or IMAX 3D. Loosely inspired by a true life-or-death experience which, documentary film maker and one of the screen writers of Sanctum, Andrew Wight survived in 1988 Sanctum-the-real-story.  He and West Skiles, a renowned cinematographer, were part of a cave diving expedition beneath the expansive Nullarbor Plain in a remote part of Australia when a freak storm moved in.  They endured a similar scenario of being trapped underground, the main entrance of the cave block with no way out.  Over a two day period Wight, Skiles and thirteen other divers in Australia miraculously found a second opening to escape what would have been terrifying consequences.

Now fast forward to Hollywood, happy endings are not always blockbuster movies so add a little more drama, throw in equipment failures, further tragedies, sprinkle in extra deaths and bingo, the film is now ready for release.  “This stuff is not all made up.  A lot of my contemporaries in the cave-diving community are now dead,” Wight said from Gainesville, Florida during a benefit screening honoring Wes Skiles, who in fact died in a diving accident while on an assignment in July 2010.  Like the movie Open Water, events which did happen at one time or another on some ocean around the world, they took a sampling and mixed them together in one movie.  That somewhat parallel’s the same circumstance as Sanctum.

On opening weekend, divers came away with mixed reviews.  Cavers and spelunkers had a general consensus that they enjoyed the movie for what it was; a full feature suspense thriller about survival and determination that focused around diving.  There were beautiful underwater cave shots, massive open rooms, high cathedral ceilings and amazing subterranean passageways.  Don’t over analyze the actor’s performance, equipment configurations or procedures that divers know aren’t applicable in the real world of cave diving.  It’s not for everyone (there was one scene that I could not watch) however overall everyone was glad they saw it and personally, I enjoyed the IMAX 3D version.  I give it a tank’s up.

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