In Lace Crater, a steamy night with a ghost leads to some pretty nasty moments. A movie with both heart and humor as well!
Okay, the only real fun in Lace Crater comes in the scenes with the ghost. This isn’t really a horror comedy, though. It is, however, a deliciously awkward kind of humor. I mean, the ghost itself is dressed in something reminiscent of a botched Halloween costume.
He’s just a lost soul with a sad story, so it’s not really that funny. Still, the whole situation is so absurd – yet strangely normal – that you’re immediately intrigued.
Our protagonist and the shy and gentle ghost get along wonderfully. This leads to the very steamy night and a pretty beautiful love scene. And it really is a love scene as opposed to a sex scene. So sweet and touching… even tough their initial meeting is very awkward.
Also, he’s not alive anymore. So, you know, there’s that.
The actors really have to sell the story in Lace Crater
The star of this movie is Lindsay Burdge (The Invitation) as she tackles the difficult role of Ruth. She’s very complex and attracted to the dark and gloomy. Not because she’s a pessimist, but she does seem depressed.
Lindsay Burdge is absolutely brilliant in Lace Crater. You never really know where her head is at, but something dark or weird is never far away. You can just tell that so much is going on just below the surface. And every emotion is visible on Burdge’s face.
The other very crucial actor in this film is the man playing the ghost, Michael. He’s portrayed by Peter Vack (Kiss of the Damned). If he wasn’t so damn charming (even before you could see his face), it seems very unlikely that Ruth would ever take to him. But he is damn likable, so you don’t really mind that he’s no longer alive.
Also, we have some great faces among the supporting characters. First, there’s Chase Williamson, who played the title role in the awesome John Dies at the End. Second, we see the film’s producer, Joe Swanberg (You’re Next), appearing in a small but important role. He’s always great and he definitely lends something extra to Lace Crater as well.
Another exciting debut
Lace Crater was both written and directed by Harrison Atkins. This is his feature film debut as both director and screenwriter – though he has some short films under his belt already.
I have to admit that I wasn’t crazy about a few visual effect details. I think I know what he wanted them to mean, but they were a bit too intense and heavy-handed to really work for me. Still, I appreciate the style and concept.
The story (and idea) was really exciting and I was truly entertained from beginning to end. To me, Harrison Atkins is definitely a director and screenwriter to keep an eye on in the future. Great things should be coming from him if Lace Crater is any indication.
Lace Crater is still playing at film festivals all over the world – we just saw it at CPH PIX. Also, it was out in limited US release and on VOD from July 29, 2016.
Director: Harrison Atkins
Writer: Harrison Atkins
Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Peter Vack, Jennifer Kim, Chase Williamson, Joe Swanberg
An awkward twentysomething woman undergoes some strange physical changes after a weekend tryst — with a ghost.
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