Mar 202012

Director: Allister Grierson

Rating: R

Running Time:1hr 48 m

Release Date: 2/4/2011

Genre: Action Adventure, Thriller

CastJoshua “Josh” McGuire(Rhys Wakefield), Frank McGuire(Richard Roxburgh), Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffudd), Victoria “Vic” Elaine (Alice Parkinson)

Synopsis: In Papua New Guinea, a father, Frank(Richard Roxburgh), and son, Josh(Rhys Wakefield) lead a team in an underwater cave expedition. As Frank and Josh are showing Carl (Ioan Gruffudd), the financier of the expedition and his girlfriend, Victoria (Alice Parkinson), a large storm arrives. Torrents of water wash the team down deeper into the caves and kill several along the way. They desperately search for a way out as their air runs out and previous problems between father and son come to a head when the pressure increases.

Analysis:Avatar’s James Cameron helped make the Australian film Sanctuary. With Cameron’s on board and all the great scenery and diving experience of the co-writer, this film has an advantage over some other low-budget films. Despite this, it wastes these assets by skimming on plot and characters.


  • Good job on the diving scenes, especially one where a diver runs out of oxygen and sucks air out of air pockets on cave ceiling.
  • A scene where the divers find a WWII Japanese tank is pretty neat.


  • When another character dies, Carl overreacts and blames his father. The character seems more reasonable in the rest of the film.
  • Like road flares in other movies, glow-sticks burn out very quickly yet in the real world they can go for many hours or days.
  • When trying to make their way out of the caves, they make an inexperienced diver take the rear when they are swimming through a narrow cave and don’t check to see if she makes it for a long time.

Conclusion: High hopes, but ends up being like an Australian Deliverance without the hillbillies. If I could turn back time, I would have seen Deliverance again instead!


Frank’s Ratings






Special Effects


Would Watch Again?





  3 Responses to “Sanctum”

  1. Thanks for the great review. I just watched Sanctum in the HBO section of, my favorite streaming site. I found my self pretty bored throughout the movie, I almost fell a sleep a few times. The director does a good job of creating the feeling of claustrophobia but little else. The characters don’t react in a very believable fashion. This movie would have benefited from a villain or some other malevolent factor other then the cave it self. Of course if there had been some kind of flesh eating mutants in the cave, which would make this a Descent sequel. One of my coworkers at DISH recently watched the movie too, but they really liked it. We had to agree to disagree.

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