By: Kayla Caldwell
THE BURNING SEA is an eco horror wrapped into an action-disaster thriller. After years of nonstop drilling, an oil platform suddenly goes down on the Norwegian coast. Researchers, like Sofia (Kristine Kujath Thorp), are brought in to try to figure out what happened, and it turns into a rescue mission when they realize that fallen platform is just the start of something far more serious. Ahead of the film’s release, we were able to chat with director John Andreas Andersen about the real-life inspiration behind THE BURNING SEA, the struggles of filming this kind of epic disaster movie, and wanting to usher in a new, female action hero.
CREEPY KINGDOM: So I know you've done the big action disaster films before, but aside from that, what kind of pulled you to this story?
JOHN ANDREAS ANDERSEN: Well, I mean, it's an area that is for Norway, it's very important as a country. After having done The Quake, we just try to, okay, where's a good stage to put a drama in Norway, today? And, at the same time, there was a lot of discussion in Norway, we know we need to stop drilling for oil, when are we going to stop drilling for oil, questions like this? So, that sort of got us going in that direction. I grew up in a part of Norway where there was a lot of oil workers, and a lot of the fathers of my friends that worked in the oil business. So that was also kind of part of the inspiration.
CREEPY KINGDOM: It's definitely a timely topic, and also the kind of thing that's fun and thrilling to watch, but also terrifying, because it's not that much of a stretch to see something like this happen. Okay, so with a movie, like this, there's so many explosions, and there's all the tech. What are some of the big hurdles? Was there a scene that was particularly difficult to film?
JOHN ANDREAS ANDERSEN: Everything that happens aboard an oil rig is very difficult to film. First of all, I think the most difficult thing for this was getting access to the real locations. 'Cause we knew that we couldn't build any of this. It had to be real. Then, of course, there's all the underwater stuff that also was difficult, but then it was just figuring out, it's a mix of physical filming and digital. So I think that was also quite a bit difficult. And then, yeah, helicopters, quite a bit of stuff that had challenges, and we're working off a budget that is nowhere near a Hollywood film. So that is also a challenge.
CREEPY KINGDOM: I mean, it looked pretty crazy to me, so it didn't look like you were wanting for anything. I wanted to talk about Kristine Kujath Thorp, her performance in the film I thought was so good. It's also really cool to see a film like this where a woman is the bada** who's saving the day.
JOHN ANDREAS ANDERSEN: Kristine is amazing. We wanted to have a female action hero, and there's not that many female action heroes around really. Obviously there's, you know, Sigourney Weaver in Alien. And, actually, I was a little bit inspired by, I saw this documentary about Alien, and on the front page of that script, it said all roles in this film are written non-gender. So it wasn't written as, you know, as a female part or as a male part, it was just written as people. And I thought that was a sort of a good angle of attack for also approaching this role. Kristine had just done one little film before this, and we found her and... We just, okay, immediately it had to be her.
CREEPY KINGDOM: I love that. I didn't know that about Alien, but that's really interesting. What do you hope viewers take away from seeing this movie, aside from being, you know, thrilled and terrified?
JOHN ANDREAS ANDERSEN: Well, I mean, if they're thrilled and terrified, then I'm happy... that's good enough. If it does make people question a little bit, especially, you know, in Norway where oil is such a big part of the country, and how the country is run - it's good that we can have this in the back of our head, that there is this imminent danger of, you know, if we mess too much with nature, nature, will hit back. So that's obviously also sort of an under message here.
CREEPY KINGDOM: Yeah. I feel like I've seen a little bit of an uptick in kind of eco horror lately, which has all of the action and fun you want for a movie like that, but also a lot of truth to it, in at least the principles.
JOHN ANDREAS ANDERSEN: Yeah. Oh, definitely. And I think that's part of the Scandinavian way of looking at it as well. So it's probably also a liberty that we can take that maybe Hollywood can't always do. So that that's nice.
Magnet Releasing will release THE BURNING SEA in theaters and on demand February 25, 2022.