Interview: Brock O’Hurn on the paranormal experience of filming The Resort in an abandoned hotel

Famed on Instagram for his 6’7 frame and popularisation of the “man-bun”, California native Brock O’Hurn has traded in influencing for entertainment, transitioning from the phone screen to the big screen.  Having made his film debut in Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, and its subsequent sequel, before earning television roles in drama series such as Too Close To Home and the acclaimed Euphoria, O’Hurn’s now earned leading man status in the supernatural horror film The Resort.

As it arrives on digital and demand in the United States, Peter Gray caught up with the actor to discuss his involvement with the film, his thoughts on the genre itself, and if any paranormal experiences occurred on set.

I’m a sucker for a horror film and these abandoned structure set films are always good fun.  How was the filming experience, cause I understand it was shot in an actual abandoned resort?

The whole story came from locals in Hawaii about how the place was haunted, so going there, being around it, being in it was wild.  And in the meanwhile, we’re in Hawaii which is beautiful in itself, so can’t have any complaints.

Any paranormal experiences for you on set?

There was this room that only had one window in it down in the basement, and one of the gaffers took a picture as he was setting up the shot and there was this black shadowy figure.  It was massive.  I’m a big guy, and this thing was bigger than me and it was facing (us) in the picture.  And then another story on set came from someone seeing this man walking along one of the floors in a trench coat, holding a rope…and they thought it was one of the other guys running wire for lighting.  20 minutes later they find out this guy was in the basement the whole time and they were the only two guys on the entire property.  There were things like that that happened throughout the filming process, so I would say that the stories are probably true.

I like that these characters at least acknowledge certain genre tropes of what not to do in a horror film.  Was that part of the appeal when reading the script?

I think primarily it was knowing we were going to film in Hawaii.  Seeing what they did with it though, and just having fun…it was lucky that the cast all got along.

How did this film come about for you?  You have a producer credit so how much involvement did you have during the film’s inception?

I was the one who introduced Taylor Chien (the director) and Will Meldman (the executive producer), they put this whole thing together, so that was cool to see them connect.  When it came to stepping into a producer role I knew there was things that i’ve already done that I could bring to the table.  Let’s talk about “XYZ”, let’s talk about how this scene should be done, etc.  It was fun doing that instead of just being the actor, having the confidence to discuss (different) elements.  I love producing.

Without spoiling too much, safe to say there’s some fun to be had here with prosthetics and practical horror effects.  How much fun was that?

It was awesome.  I remember the first time when one of the characters came around the corner all done up, and you’re just sitting in a dark basement, not many people around…even when you know it’s prosthetics it’s still creepy.  But it makes it fun to play off of too, thinking if I was in that situation what would I do?

Given how intimate the film felt, with such a small cast and abandoned location, was this made during COVID or was it more coincidental?

It was pre-COVID, yeah.  It’s interesting looking at the fact you have this desolate resort, that also happens to be haunted, and it’s now something that people might actually go do, given so many places have shut down because of COVID.  It’s kind of wild to see.

Are you a fan of the horror genre yourself?

I like them, I like to watch them, but a lot of them never actually scare me.  I’m so used to being the big guy who’s ready to have anything thrown at me, I’m like a viking (laughs), thinking “that guy isn’t scary, I could take that guy”, so when something actually gets me going, I know it’s effective.

The Resort will be available in North America on demand and digital and in limited theatrical release from April 30th, 2021.  An Australian release is yet to be determined.

Peter Gray

Seasoned film critic. Gives a great interview. Penchant for horror. Unashamed fan of Michelle Pfeiffer and Jason Momoa.