‘Sanctuary’ Trailer: Christopher Abbott And Margaret Qualley Play Twisted Games Of Sex And Power

Lately, the festival circuit has been lousy with thrillers exploring the twisted games of sex and power that men and women play. Sundance was buzzing with the upcoming Netflix film, Fair Play, but before that TIFF saw the premiere of dark comedy Sanctuary, starring Margaret Qualley and Christopher Abbott.

The sophomore feature from director Zachary Wigon (The Heart Machine) is a wicked display of power dynamics between a man set for a large inheritance who tries to break up with a woman who happens to be his dominatrix. Things don’t go well, and a safe word might not be enough.

NEON looks to be on a roll right now, following the indie success of How to Blow Up a Pipeline and Infinity Pool. They also have the much-discussed psychological thriller Eileen coming up.

Abbott and Qualley are set to reunite later this year in Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest, Poor Things. But you can check them out first in Sanctuary, which hits theaters on May 19th.


A wickedly dark comedy follows dominatrix, Rebecca, and her wealthy client, Hal, as they engage in a high stakes role playing game for power and control. In the wake of inheriting his father’s hotel chain, Hal attempts to end his long and secret relationship with Rebecca. A battle of wills ensues over the course of one incredibly fraught night, with both Rebecca and Hal struggling to keep the upper hand as the power dynamics swing wildly back and forth.


Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.