Having just had the world premiere of his film, INHERITANCE, at the Dances With Films Festival, director Tyler Savage spoke with Shannon about his latest film. the inspiration behind it, and how he made a psychological thriller so beautiful to look at.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Tyler, thank you so much for taking time out to speak with me today about your latest film INHERITANCE. For those not familiar with your film can you tell us a little bit about it?
Tyler Savage: Absolutely! INHERITANCE is a psychological thriller about a man who mysteriously inherits a beach house and then sort of finds himself trapped by the looming presence of his own family and genetic history.
NC: Not only did you direct this film, but you also wrote the story. What inspired you to come up with this tale?
TS: I basically wanted to explore some deeply personal ideas about how we can feel trapped by certain aspects of our own genetic history through a genre lens. Many of us feel that there may be parts of our own character or personality that we’re not fully in control of because they stem from our bloodline or other subterranean influences, so that was sort of the central idea behind the film from the jump.
NC: Something that is very noticeable within the film is the attention to detail and the art direction. Did you want to showcase the beauty of the surroundings as a bit of a juxtaposition towards the horror that was unfolding?
TS: Thank you! And yeah, that’s pretty much right on. We knew from the outset that we wanted to have a patient and deliberate visual style that would allow the dark idea of the story to subtly seep in. Margaux Rust and our design team were incredible and we all took a lot of care in developing the texture of the house and the elements within.
NC: What really makes this film work is the incredible acting talents of everyone involved, most notably the two leads, Chase Joliet and Sara Montez. How did you got about casting for those roles and did you have anyone in mind for any roles in particular?
TS: Thank you! I’m sure they’ll both be thrilled to hear that. Chase and I have actually been close friends for several years now, so he was part of the process from the very beginning, both as an actor and producer. But we found Sara through a traditional casting process, and basically cast her at the audition because she was such a great fit.
NC: The film ends on a bit of a vague note, allowing the audience to fill in the blanks. Was this something you wanted to do from the beginning? To make it about what the audience took away?
TS: Yeah, I wanted to allow for ambiguity. That can be tricky because a lot of people want and expect clear answers at the end of a genre film. But when a story is tied up in a nice little bow you kinda lose the ability to get into the viewer’s head and make them think.
NC: Last but not least, are there any projects you are working on that we should keep our eyes out for?
TS: I’m definitely trying to get another feature off the ground as soon as I can. Working on a few scripts right now, one of which is a contained noir thriller I’m really excited about.