Sanctum follows father-and-son underwater cave divers and their team as they embark on an epic expedition into the heart of one of the world's largest, most remote and treacherous caverns. When a sudden storm seals off their only known exit, the team is forced to delve deeper and deeper in search of their escape. Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever? With the threat of death and danger at every turn, this journey will test their strength and psyche against the perils of raging water and creeping panic. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Director Alister Grierson, Co-Writer/Producer Andrew Wight, and Actor Rhys Wakefield; the featurette Sanctum: The Real Story (HD 46:31); the documentary Nullarbor Dreaming (SD 44:53); deleted scenes (HD 09:23); a pocket BLU app; My Scenes, D-BOX® Motion Code™; up-front previews; and BD-Live functionality.
The 1.85:1 1080p MVC picture was shot in native 3D using the Cameron/Pace Designs-developed 3D Fusion Camera system, the same system used to realize Avatar's world of Pandora. Director Alister Grierson and Cinematographer Jules O'Loughlin used a split-beam rig and side-by-side 3-D techniques to create a most terrifying visual experience. Challenged with the task of shooting and depicting an enveloping three-dimensional world of claustrophobic dark underground caves and murky underwater caverns, this is an unbelievable accomplishment. Under these challenging circumstances the 3-D experience varies in depth perception from minimal, during close-ups of the divers, to lifelike depth that dramatically captures the vast cavern surroundings. Compared to the 2-D version, the dimensionality excels to heighten the terrifying situation the divers are confronted with. The rain and exploding water blasts are spectacular in 3D. The color palette is naturally hued with spots of bold, vivid hues expressed in various gear accents and dive helmets, including at times, realistic blacks. The tone is warm, with generally natural fleshtone renderings. Environmentally, the colors are perfectly realistic. Resolution is excellent throughout, with fine detailing evident in the caverns and closeups. Crosstalk and perceived ghosting is non-existent. This is a remarkable filmmaking feat with a challenging 3-D environment that delivers a frightening visceral experience. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is well produced with an aggressively enveloping presence, heightened by atmospherics and sound effects, such as gushing and bubbling water. The orchestral music score nicely bridges the tense, terrifying moments and suspense, with a wide and deep soundstage that extends effectively to the surrounds. LFE .1-channel energy provides substantial consistent weight to the sonics, to intensity the more terrifying sequences. The storm sequence is powerful, as are certain sequences involving churning waters and rock movements. Dialogue is intelligible and effectively integrated, with a slight echo presence relating to the cave and caverns environment. Coupled with perfectly accentuated D-BOX motion support, the experience is heightened with realism. This is a perfectly complementary soundtrack to the engaging 3-D visuals and works well to sustain the suspense. (Gary Reber)