Lace Crater Fast Facts:
Director/Writer: Harrison Atkins
Cast: Lindsay Burdge (A Teacher), Peter Vack (6 Years), Chase Williamson (John Dies at the End), and Keith Poulson (Somebody Up There Likes Me)
Runtime: 83 minutes
Release: Opens Theatrically NYC + on VOD (Exclusively on FlixFling) on July 29th; Opens Theatrically LA on August 5th; National Rollout to Follow
Lace Crater is a cautionary tale of why kids these days should not do drugs, drink, or have unprotected sex… with ghosts (even if they say they’re a virgin).
When Ruth (Lindsay Burdge) and her 20-something year old hipster friends go on a weekend getaway to a pal’s family vacation home in the Hamptons (ooh la la!) they pop pills, down a couple of cold ones, and hang out in the hot tub, sharing secrets and telling ghost stories. While this sounds like the making of a stereotypical horror movie (see my review for The Levenger Tapes), things get really unique (i.e. weird) when Ruth returns to her room and stumbles upon Michael (Peter Vack), a ghost who “haunts” the house.
The two engage in awkward conversation that a middle schooler might call “flirting,” partake in drawn-out face touching that is supposed to be “foreplay,” and have a roll in the hay (or should I say… lilies on a casket). That’s right: Ruth and Michael have a magical night of Woman/Apparition sex as illustrated through dramatic zoom ins of burlap sacks and shaky cam shots of nipples. Alas, the next morning he doesn’t even make her eggs (we learn ghosts don’t eat or defecate), and she doesn’t even leave a note that she’ll text him sometime. Instead, Ruth goes back to the city with her friends.
Sadly, what happens in the haunted house in the Hamptons doesn’t stay in the haunted house in the Hamptons: Ruth is quickly plagued with vomiting, hallucinations, bouts of strange ooze, and other disgusting symptoms that will make you swear celibacy. What’s worse is that she’s quickly slut shamed by all of her friends, her doctor is a joke (literally), and she has no idea what to do. The rest of the story is her plight to get answers and figure out what’s going on with her. Unfortunately, as Michael says, sometimes there are no answers and we just have to stop looking. So is the case with this film.
I have to admit, the plot to this story is so out there, that when I read the initial synopsis, I told myself, “NO WAY! I MUST WATCH THAT!” Unfortunately, the delivery of the film suffers for exactly that reason.
It’s just too weird for its own good.
I felt like it was trying way too hard to be whimsical and quirky, to the extent that a lot of the intended charm came off forced. For instance, I believe the dialogue was supposed to be realistic and relatable, but hearing all the awkward pauses and stutters were agonizing! Also, for a film that was relatively short (it clocks in at just 83 minutes), it felt unbearably long due to the choppy editing and haphazard pacing. I had mixed feelings on the aesthetics of the movie. Visually, it looks stunning: gorgeous colors, detailed sets, stylish wardrobes, unconventionally beautiful actors, etc. Any one shot would make a lovely photograph. However, everything appeared to be filmed via a handheld camera, so the cinematography was jarring, and, quite frankly, rather nauseating.
I was also very unhappy with the audio quality. Some parts were very quiet, almost inaudible, while others were booming. I began to wonder if the speakers were haunted, too! I feel like the film team should have invested in a dolly and an additional boom mic before starting production.
Though Lace Crater had an original plot and appealing visuals, it was literally and figuratively painful to watch, so unless you have the patience of a saint (or a ghost) I just can’t recommend it to you, GeekGirl World.
For a closer look at Lace Crater, check out the teaser trailer below:
What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!
You can catch Lace Crater when it opens in NYC or on VOD (Exclusively on FlixFling) on July 29th, or catch it when it comes to theaters in LA August 5th.
Want more movie madness, darling cinephiles? Be sure to check out our other film reviews here!