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Lace Crater

Quebec Premiere
  • USA
  • 2015
  • 83 mins
  • DCP
  • English
Official Selection: TIFF 2015, Sitges Film Festival 2015, Cleveland International Film Festival 2016, Imagine Film Festival 2016

“A subtle, intimate horror show” - Aimee Murillo, OC WEEKLY

Lace Crater from Festival Fantasia on Vimeo.

During a weekend get-together at a luxurious house in the Hamptons, Ruth (Lindsay Burge), a little shy and recovering from an ugly break-up, avoids her four friends’ overtly flirtatious choice of bedroom. Instead, she favours the privacy of an adjacent guest house, despite her friend Andrew’s spooky claims that the place is very much haunted. The evening goes as planned: at once low-key and debauched, filled with steamy hot-tub conversations and awkward sexual tension. Tired, Ruth decides to hit the sack early, yet cannot shake the feeling of being observed. She’s about to call out Andrew’s on his creepy behaviour when a ghostly, burlap-clad figure emerges from the darkness instead. It introduces itself as Michael, a friendly ghost, and one thing leading to the next, the evening’s repressed romantic build-up comes to a boiling point…

In this feature-length debut, Harrison Atkins provides an off-kilter, oddly sincere, and disarming film about millennial angst, messy relationships, and the shame – and occasional pain – of owning up to one’s sexuality... especially when ghosts and STDs are involved! Exploring a generation’s drive for romantic connection by way of the supernatural, LACE CRATER blends the improvisational and comedic approaches of erstwhile mumblecore cinema, with the unsettling metaphors that a genre framework can bring to life – be it through elements of body horror or spectral possession, used parsimoniously throughout. Anchored by a great central performance from Lindsay Burge (seen in Fantasia all-time-greats such as THE MIDNIGHT SWIM and THE INVITATION), LACE CRATER uses its ethereal camerawork to bring the viewer right into Ruth’s psyche, culminating into one of last year’s most unusual character studies, both unsettlingly intimate and refreshingly haunted.

— Ariel Esteban Cayer