I love talking to filmmaking duos, especially when it’s obvious they’ve known each other forever and have a special bond. I had an absolute blast video chatting with Andy Collier and Tor Mian, the very funny pair behind the Lovecraft-inspired thriller, Sacrifice. We talked about what inspired the film, what’s up next, and of course, horror movies.
PopHorror: What inspired Sacrifice?
Andy Collier: After our last project together—which was really ambitious but low budget show in London, and we really stretched ourselves—I think Tor and I wanted something that was much more contained, and much more Cabin iIn The Woods. We were looking for options, and I found Paul Kane’s short story, and Tor read it and he loved it, too. We kept looking for other things in this contained Cabin In The Woods story, and we kept coming back to that one.
So that’s the story that originally inspired the film, and then basically as we drafted it, with each succeeding draft, we kept the spirit of “Men Of The Cloth,” which was the original story which was this sort of claustrophobic, creeping dread story, but the actual story elements became more and more Lovecraftian and more and more specifically “Call Of Cthulhu.”
Obviously we were, to some extent, inspired by The Wicker Man, and we wanted to put some clear water between us and The Wicker Man, and so rather than setting it in the UK or in Scotland, Tor had the idea—because he’s half Norwegian—of moving it to his other home.
We started location scouting in Norway, and we actually found the location quite by accident, if you remember Tor, because the Norwegian line producer told us to stay in the place where they were shooting James Bond, and I found an Airbnb which was one inch away on the map, and one inch turned out to be a six hour drive. Quite by chance, we stayed in the middle of nowhere, but as soon as we arrived, either we were too tired to look anywhere else, or it was awesome, or possibly a little bit of each, but that’s how we ended up shooting something that was much more Lovecraftian, much more Norwegian, and much more aquatic than we originally set off.
And really, the fact that there was this vast body of water and these huge majestic mountains, I think that really inspired each successive draft to be more ground and more cosmet and more Lovecraftian. Does that make sense?
PopHorror: It does! It was a very beautiful setting that you had. It was very effective.
Andy Collier: And quite by accident!
PopHorror: How did you two come to learn that you would be such a dynamic filmmaking duo together?
Andy Collier: Do you want to take that one, Tor?
Tor Mian: We’ve known each other for how long now? Ten years?
Andy Collier: Probably 10 years, yeah.
Tor Mian: I think that, at this stage, it is just a very unhappy marriage that we’ll never actually pull the trigger on in terms of getting a divorce. We’ve got into where we’re going to see. ‘Til death do us part now.
Andy Collier: Stay together for the kids!
Tor Mian: Exactly! But actually, the original romance, if you want to put it that way, was us bonding over the biggest flop in cinema history, which is The 13th Warrior. Andy was, probably until this day, the only person I’ve ever met that appreciates that much aligned classic in the same way that I do. As soon as I realized this, I thought, “Yeah, we’re destined to work together.” We’ve been doing so ever since.
What’s your view on The 13th Warrior, by the way? Have you seen it, or has it passed you by?
PopHorror: I have not seen it.
Tor Mian: Oh, my God. I compel you to give it a watch. Don’t listen to what 99.999% of the population say about it! It is a classic film.
PopHorror: I have made a note here to see if I can find it, and check it out!
Tor Mian: Legitimately the biggest flop in Hollywood history.
PopHorror: You have me intrigued, that’s for sure!
Andy Collier: I think it was the film that made Omar Sharif quit acting forever, wasn’t it? To die a few weeks later, I believe.
Tor Mian: Yeah, I’m done.
PopHorror: Neither of you are strangers to horror. What is it that draws you to the genre?
Andy Collier: Personally, I love in any kind of movie. I love a movie that’s unexpected, and I don’t know what’s going to happen, basically where we’re free to make anything happen. I think horror delivers that more than any other genre. And also it’s often surprisingly deep, and surprisingly a lot to notice, so I think good horror films are the best films, and certainly, good genre films are the best films. That’s my thinking.
Tor Mian: I’m not a big horror fan, I just follow Andy. I actually prefer romantic comedies. I’ve been watching a lot of… I literally subscribed to The Hallmark Channel during lockdown, so I’m hoping we’re going to be gravitating toward that genre in the future.
PopHorror: I do watch a lot of Hallmark shows!
Tor Mian: What’s your favorite Hallmark movie? I saw Love On The Train, the Danny Glover one, which is widely considered the best Hallmark movie of all time, I believe. Have you seen it?
PopHorror: I haven’t! Christmas ones, that’s for sure.
Tor Mian: Oh, me too. That’s essentially been my lockdown. Watch The 13th Warrior, and then Love On The Train. That should be your double bill for tonight.
PopHorror: That does sound like a great double feature! I will have to look for them. I know that Covid has stalled a lot of projects and things have been cancelled. Are you guys currently working on anything? What’s coming up next for you?
Tor Mian: I’m working on a script for Love On A Plane, but I don’t know if Andy is going to be too happy about that. If we can’t get funding for Love On A Plane, we’ve got another horror film called Perpetual in the pipeline. Hopefully, if things ever get back to some level of normalcy, we might be able to shoot that. And that’s actually another horror film that’s set in America this time, specifically Utah. How would you describe it, Andy?
Andy Collier: If you’re going to describe the genres, it’s an LGBT procedural horror thriller zombie coming-of-age film.
Tor Mian: I think that’s an easy sell.
Andy Collier: It’s based on a story I read called “The German,” which basically is about prejudice. “The German” is set during WWII America, and it’s about sort of rednecks being prejudiced towards outsiders. And then we had the genius idea to speak to the writer and set it in Trump’s America. You can see how long we’ve been trying to get this funded. Trump was just in, and the divisions between the more extreme left and the more extreme right were just starting to bubble up on Twitter. And that seemed quite interesting at the time, in 2016, when we started to write it. We started raising funds, and Covid didn’t help. Quite annoying that Trump didn’t get a second term, wasn’t it? Never mind. I think the film still works.
PopHorror: Wow! I am definitely intrigued by that as well. What is your favorite scary movie?
Tor Mian: I would say for me personally, it would be Love Actually. Or Eat Pray Love. I would go for Eat Pray Love. If you put a gun to my head, Eat Pray Love would be the most disturbing movie I’ve ever seen in my life.
Andy Collier: In terms of if I had to choose one that I really like artistically, probably Angel Heart. If it’s the, “What horror film have you watched more than anything else?” Pontypool. I don’t know if you’ve seen that, but the weird zombie-ish thing. The acting is awesome in that.
Thank you, Andy and Tor, for taking the time to speak with us. Don’t miss Sacrifice in select theaters started February 5, and VOD February 9. You can also pick up the Blu-ray on February 23, 2021.