3 StarsEric Hurt’s feature directorial debut is a tense look at ghostly revenge. The Hays and Thomson families are out House Hunting, both arrive at a quaint house on 70 acres of land, and both are immediately taken with it. When they come across a bloodied girl running through the woods (Rebekah Kennedy) things take a turn. Now the families find themselves trapped at the house, any attempt to leave turns them around and they land right back at the doorstep. Weeks pass as Charlie Hays (Marc Singer) and Don Thomson (Art LaFleur) try to keep their families together – and sane. But the pressure of isolation begins to creep in, and the ghosts are getting restless. Soon they will reveal why these families are being held hostage here, and it won’t be pretty.
This is a great flick for Eric Hurt’s first feature. Here he’s a quadruple threat acting as director, writer, cinematographer (along with Todd Free) and producer. House Hunting plays on the J.J. Abrams ploy of mystery with answers that only beg for more answers. The difference is the ending to this picture is actually satisfying, even with a slight downer twist ending (which is often the case in the horror genre).
Which brings us to how does the twist ending actually work? Without going into much detail and ruining the film for the uninitiated, I believe that the house is a sort of honey pot for evil. This means that evil people are also caught up in it, along with their acts – and families. There aren’t a ton of scares, but there are a lot of tense situations that we find the family members in. The ending sequence reminded me of the Shining and in many ways these people lose their minds from the isolation. I also enjoyed the In the Mouth of Madness type trap, where driving away from the house will get you right back to the house.
The acting has peaks and valleys, but during taut moments the actors really go all out. This is especially true of star Marc Singer, best known as The Beastmaster. It’s good to see him stretch out his acting chops, and in a role that he is perfectly cast in. All the actors fit neatly together and feel like they come from the same world.
House Hunting is a creepy, well-directed and acted thriller with bouts of horror. Worth watching for fans of the genre and those that like a dark mystery.
Director: Eric Hurt
Stars: Marc Singer, Art LaFleur, Hayley DuMond, Rebekah Kennedy