|Directed by||Alister Grierson|
|Produced by||Andrew Wight|
|Written by||John Garvin
|Music by||David Hirschfelder|
|Editing by||Mark Warner|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||109 minutes|
Sanctum is a 2011 Australian 3D adventure drama film directed by Alister Grierson and written by John Garvin and Andrew Wight. It stars Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield and Ioan Gruffudd. Wight also produced the film, with James Cameron as executive producer.
Seventeen-year-old Joshua "Josh" McGuire (Rhys Wakefield), expedition bank-roller Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffudd) and his girlfriend, Victoria "Vic" Elaine (Alice Parkinson), travel to the Esa'ala Cave, an underwater cave exploration site in Papua New Guinea. Josh's father, Frank (Richard Roxburgh), a master diver, has already established a forward base camp at a lower level inside the cave, where the team has been exploring for weeks.
While exploring a section of the cave known as Devil's Restriction, Judes (Allison Cratchley) experiences a problem with her air tank hose. She loses use of her air mask so Frank buddy breathes. After a few changes, Judes tries to keep the mask on, but Frank forces the mask off of her, watching her drown. It is revealed by Frank that Judes had dived exhausted since they previously had to retrieve the extra tanks, a task Josh didn't do. Unfortunately, they leave the tanks to squeeze into a small cave, leading to disaster.
While Josh climbs to the surface with Luko, Liz, and J.D, the cave starts flooding after a huge unforeseen thunderstorm turns into a cyclone, causing flash floods, flooding portions of the cave. Josh decides to go back for the others, which causes problems for them done by the storm. Their attempt to reach the exit for the surface world ends up cut off, leaving them trapped inside below. One by one, the team members die. In the end, Frank and Josh are the only survivors left because Carl stole the last rebreather. The two find a small opening in the cave but decide to keep going. They later discover Carl. Frank is badly injured by Carl who causes him to fall on a Stalagmite, which punctures his back. Josh is then asked by Frank to ease his pain by drowning him. Just as he begins to lose hope, Josh does find a way out through the cave to open ocean. He is then seen crawling onto the beach where he is discovered by three people fishing on it.
The end credit paid a tribute to Wesley C. Skiles.
- Richard Roxburgh as Frank McGuire
- Ioan Gruffudd as Carl Hurley
- Rhys Wakefield as Joshua "Josh" McGuire
- Alice Parkinson as Victoria "Vic" Elaine
- Daniel Wyllie as George
- Christopher Baker as J.D.
- Nicole Downs as Liz
- Allison Cratchley as Judes
- Cramer Cain as Luko
- Andrew Hansen as Dex
- John Garvin as Jim Sergeant
Sanctum was inspired by the film's co-writer Andrew Wight's experience with a 1988 cave diving expedition in Australia that resulted in 13 cavers becoming trapped in one of the world's largest underwater cave systems in Nullarbor Plain after a freak storm collapsed the entrance. James Cameron served as executive producer.
Shot on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, Sanctum employs 3D photography techniques Cameron developed to film Avatar. All of the underwater sequences took place in a large water tank at the Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland. Real caves were also filmed in South Australia's cave-diving region around Mount Gambier.
Stunt diver Agnes Milowka, who appears as a double in the already-released film, drowned in one of these caves on 27 February 2011 when she reportedly ran out of air. In striking similarities to the movie script, she also left her spare tank behind, to force the way through the tight restriction, and it is actually her playing Judes' drowning scene.
Box office 
Sanctum opened with $9.2 million in its first weekend, coming in second behind The Roommate. CinemaScore polls indicated a C+ rating from audiences. As of March 2011, Sanctum was the tenth-highest-grossing Australian film at the international box office.
Critical reception 
The film received predominantly negative reviews in the US. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 30% of 157 critics rated the film positively with an average score of 4.5/10. The consensus states that "Sanctum is beautifully photographed, and it makes better use of 3-D technology than most, but that doesn't make up for its ham-handed script and lifeless cast." It has a Metacritic rating of 42 out of 100. However, in the rest of the world, where the major part of the gross take occurred, some reviews were slightly better. In Australia, Jim Schembri gave it 3 1/2 stars from 5 whilst the UK's Daily Express gave it 3 from 5.
Home video 
- Kaufman, Amy; Fritz, Ben (2011-02-06). "Box office: 'Roommate' beats 'Sanctum' on slow Super Bowl weekend [Updated]". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2011-02-07.
- "Sanctum (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- "Cave Diving". Melbourne Sun Herald. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- "Sanctum (2011) – About the Production". Visual Hollywood. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
- Katherine Firkin, Matt Schulz (2011-02-28). "Victorian cave diver Agnes Milowka dies at Tank Cave, Mt Gambier". Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- Nick Greenaway, Allison Langdon (2011-05-29). "In Too Deep". 60 Minutes, Nine Network Australia. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- Fritz, Ben; Kaufman, Amy (2011-02-03). "Movie Projector: 'The Roommate' and 'Sanctum' won't score on Super Bowl weekend". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2011-02-03.
- Kaufman, Amy; Fritz, Ben (2011-02-07). "Company Town: 'The Roommate' trumps 'Sanctum' at the box office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- Carla Börjesson (2011-02-06). "Box office: 'The Roommate' easily wins a quiet weekend". Blog.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- "King's Speech: The little non-Aussie that could". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- Jim Schembri (2011-02-03). "Sanctum 3D". Melbourne: Theage.com.au. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- "Sanctum film review". Express.co.uk. 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- Tom Woodward (2011-04-04). "Universal Studios Home Entertainment announces DVD and Blu-ray releases". DVD Active. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
- Official website
- Sanctum at the Internet Movie Database
- Sanctum at AllRovi
- Sanctum at Box Office Mojo
- Sanctum at Rotten Tomatoes
- Sanctum at Metacritic