Lace Crater

If Harrison Atkins‘ directorial debut, Lace Crater, wasn’t on your radar before, it should be now. The offbeat horror movie, which is produced by Joe Swanberg (Digging for Fire), is something else, as you’ll likely learn from the trailer. Lace Crater is an often sad, funny, and unsettling post-breakup story that takes its ludicrous-sounding concept to some surprising places.

Below, watch the Lace Crater trailer.

For some people, a few too many drinks leads to some bad decisions. In Lace Crater, after a bit of partying with some friends, Ruth (Lindsay Burdge) makes the classic drunkard’s mistake of having sex with a ghost. Ruth may not have been careful, because the ghost, who goes by the name of Michael (Peter Vack), left her with more than a surreal memory.

Here’s the Lace Crater trailer:

When Ruth is googling “STD sex with a ghost,” how could that shot not pique someone’s interest in this movie? Half-kidding aside, that scene is a reminder of why the film is successful at grounding its concept. Maybe out of context that Google search comes across as pure silliness, but Atkins and Lindsay Burge sell the confusion, fear, and pain Ruth is experiencing in that scene and the rest of the film. Not once do Atkins or Burge wink at the audience. They play every scenario straight.

Burdge slowly breaks down in Lace Crater, and it’s a striking transformation (which is a little reminiscent of Charles Burns‘ “Black Hole”). The actress, who’s also very good in A Teacher, helps make the film’s reality believable. Her performance is so present and engaged that you sometimes forget you’re watching a movie in which a character suffers from a paranormal sexually transmitted disease.

Here’s the synopsis for Lace Crater (Source: Fantasia Film Festival):

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…

Lace Crater is now available on VOD (via FlixFling) and opens in Los Angeles on August 5th.

Lace Crater film

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