Lace Crater (2016)

Lace CraterStarring Lindsay Burdge, Peter Vack, Jennifer Kim

Directed by Harrison Atkins

Screening at Fantasia 2016


Ah, the perils of the single life: You party, you sleep with unknowns (that are dead), and you catch an STD from hell. Okay, I might be embellishing the harshness of the situation that befalls a young woman in Harrison Atkins’s Lace Crater, but hey, she brought this all upon herself!

Produced by Joe Swanberg, the movie takes an indirect swing at horror/comedy and manages a solid foul tip at the plate, never truly making the contact necessary to be considered a must-watch.  Still, it’s mildly entertaining and worth a one-timer, but first here’s the lowdown…

While sulking over a recent break-up, Ruth’s pals think it’s best to whisk her off to The Hamptons for a booze-soaked soiree and perhaps a roll in the hay to get her mind off of her relationship failures. While in the midst of a drunken conversation with a man clad in a burlap sack known only as “Michael” (Vack), Ruth’s inhibitions become non-extinct, and at the risk of sounding crass… Ruth bumps some serious uglies with the ghastly gentleman.

When the next few weeks begin to fade away, so does Ruth’s health: With ashen skin and hallucinations abounding, her condition is virtually unexplained – not a living soul knows what becomes of our poor, lonely Ruth (notice I said LIVING soul). The fringes of relationship hell are trod upon, and sorry to say that it’s only slightly amusing even for those searching for some comedic chaos alongside a horrific situation.

Aside from the creeping-death-like malady that has infected her, Ruth’s best friend, ex-boyfriend, and potential future hook-up all seem to be drifting further out to sea from her, adding up to one gigantic cluster that Atkins attempts to shine the focus-light on at full beam. Burdge is fun to watch as the affected young woman simply looking to find direction in her life, but sadly far too much dry dialogue and not enough emphasis on Ruth’s disease are what holds Lace Crater towards the back of the pack.

If you’re looking for a real scare, might I suggest picking up some STD pamphlets from your local doctor’s office? Now THAT’s some damn frightening material.

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Matt Boiselle

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