Speaking to Reuters, the producer explained that he was inspired by nature's unpredictability and used that fascination to construct the story, which centres on a diving team that becomes trapped in underwater caves.
"When you deal with the ocean or a cave, it's going to do what it's going to do, and it does not care if you're there. You can get swatted like a fly," he explained.
"On the other hand, nature offers us incredible gifts, incredible beauty and incredible insights. It's a give and take."
Cameron went on to insist that Sanctum offers something different not only from his own previous projects but also from other movies currently in theatres.
"There's a list of things we have to tell people that Sanctum is not. It's not a documentary. It's not a monster movie in a cave. There's no supernatural component to this. It's pure survival drama," he said.
"It's a labyrinthian environment that continues to evolve, sometimes constricting down to a very claustrophobic space and sometimes opening out to stadium-sized caverns. That variety, along with the unexpected that comes around each corner, is part of what I think propels the movie."
Sanctum opens in the US and the UK on February 4.