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Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.
14
January

Dive Movie Review: “Sanctum”

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Dive Movie Review: “Sanctum” Posted in: Below $100, Book and Film Reviews

Last year’s big dive movie was Sanctum, and on paper it was a very promising film. If the idea of a 3D movie about a cave divers struggling to overcome disaster and survive wasn’t hot enough, the involvement of James Cameron’s film tech should clinch the deal. Alas, Sanctum promised a lot and made only a partial delivery.

Visually, it’s a beautiful film and the dive shots do not fail to disappoint. Where the film fails to deliver is in terms of its story, which shouldn’t have been an issue because it was written by Andrew Wight, a survivor of a 1988 cave diving expedition disaster in the Nullarbor Plain. A flood caused the cave to collapse, trapping 13 divers (including Wight), who fought for two days to survive. With material like that, Sanctum’s storyline should be pure gold. Alas, Sanctum is full of poorly delivered and very tired disaster movie cliches, making it into a boilerplate Poseidon Adventure remake for divers.

Frankly, I fail to understand why the film couldn’t have been a fictionalized version of what actually happened to Wight in the Nullarbor Plain, a harrowing experience that could not fail to deliver a thrilling dive story. If you can make a spine-tingling horror film out of two divers floating in the middle of the ocean (Open Water), then surely the Nullarbor Plain story could have yielded better fruit.

Sanctum is also marred by some technical mistakes sure to stick in the craw of any diver. One especially glaring example is that half the characters are wearing farmer johns and that’s it, despite being supposedly crack cave divers going deep on rebreathers.

Even so, it’s hardly the worst dive film ever made (for that, try Into the Blue 2: The Reef). If you are a diver who loves dive movies, then Sanctum is worth a look if its on cable, or if you can rent it or download it cheaply. What it isn’t worth is paying the full list price to buy the DVD, since few people will want to see the movie twice.