This property condemned: Marc Singer goes house hunting
Actor Marc Singer’s roles have varied wildly. He has co-starred in period dramas like Roots: The New Generations. In TV’s V, he battled aliens. In the title role in The Beastmaster, he ruled the animal kingdom. And Singer, an avid Shakespeare aficionado, is particularly proud of his performance as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew.
The Virginia Film Festival participant has expanded his repertoire even further in House Hunting, his first horror film, written, produced, and directed by Charlottesville native Eric Hurt, and filmed in and around a nearby farmhouse.
Though House Hunting is a “chiller,” says Singer, 64, it’s no special-effects-driven gore movie: its accent is on mood.
But, he observes, “There’s no let-up. It’s relentless.”
Hurt wrote something that is entertaining on the surface– two families trapped in a house and they can’t escape. But the film’s inner story follows “how these disparate families [are] forced together under a situation of great tension and great danger,” says Singer, and must tolerate each other...indefinitely.
“So, it’s really kind of a study of the circumstances of society, cast in a metaphor,” Singer adds. “And that’s really the fun of the movie is the people trying to coexist with each other in a kind of microcosmic community.”
Instead of clichéd, disposable horror movie victims, Singer says the film’s characters were designed so that audiences would deeply identify with them. “I think that [the story] builds up in the audience members a sense of tension,” he says. “It inspires a survival instinct in each of them– in each of us, if we’re the audience– that matches the survival instinct of each character within the story.”
Singer lavishly praises Hurt’s script, calling the film’s auteur “an amazing creative artist.”
Hurt was equally impressed by Singer. “He’s very dedicated to the character,” Hurt says. “There’s a million ways to play a character, and so he’s always looking for a new take on it and really trying to get in the head of the character... He cares a lot, and he’s an intense guy, and that shows.”
Singer is delighted with their finished film, particularly its sense of reality.
“The blessing of a good film script and a good film shoot,” says Singer, “is that, while you’re doing it, you feel the authenticity of the moment– that every time you go to the set, no matter how late at night or early in the morning, you feel that you’re entering another world, an authentic world, a world where the story you’re telling has weight and validity.
“And that really is what happened with House Hunting every day we went to work.”
Marc Singer will host a screening of House Hunting, along with director Eric Hurt and actors Art LaFleur and Haley DuMond at 10pm Saturday, November 3, at the Paramount Theater.