Still from Rift (Rökkur)

Alumnus Erlingur Thoroddsen '13 Directs Remake of 'Rift'

BY Felix van Kann, October 7, 2021

Alumnus Erlingur Thoroddsen '13 is set to write and direct an English-language remake of his own 2017 Icelandic film Rift (original title: Rökkur) for Wayward Entertainment. The film will go into production this winter. 


Rift, an atmospheric thriller, follows two guys whose broken relationship is tested as they are haunted by a supernatural entity awakened by their emotional turmoil and grief. 


“In Erlingur’s steady hands, this film not only promises to terrify and entertain, it has the potential to shatter preconceptions,” producer Dustin Lance Black told Deadline.


“Adapting my own script into a new language has been a fascinating process,” Thoroddsen said in a comment. “In the beginning, I approached the project with a mindset of ‘fixing all the mistakes I made’, but it eventually evolved into its own story. I was never interested in telling the exact same story twice, so I had always planned on adding new twists and turns. But I soon realized that I was actually exploring different avenues and answers to the questions I asked in the original, about the nature of breakups and the black holes they can leave behind. These new answers took the story to exciting and dark new places, and so today I look at the film not so much as a remake but rather a reimagining. I want it to have its own visual language and style, which will be challenging in many ways, but it’s the kind of challenge I’m very excited to tackle.”


Thoroddsen has a knack for the dark. He just wrapped shooting on his feature film The Piper, a re-imagining of the Pied Piper tale. The film follows a young composer who is given the opportunity of a lifetime when she's tasked with finishing her late mentor’s concerto. She soon discovers that playing the music summons deadly consequences, leading her to uncover the disturbing origins of the melody and the evil force it has awakened: the Pied Piper.


Erlingur Thoroddsen is an award-winning writer and director born and raised in Reykjavík, Iceland. Thoroddsen’s first feature, Child Eater, based on his short film, premiered as the Closing Night film of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival in 2016. His films have screened at various international festivals such as South By Southwest, Stockholm International Film Festival, Puchon International Film Festival and Screamfest. His second feature, the psychological thriller Rökkur, premiered as the Closing Film of the 40th Göteborg International Festival in 2017. Thoroddsen is also the writer of the episode “Midnight Kiss” of the anthology series Into the Dark

Erlingur Thoroddsen '13 (center) on the set of The Piper