Facets Cinémathèque

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August 12–18, 2016

Chicago Premiere

Lace Crater

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Film still: Lace Crater Film still: Lace Crater
"Spooky and inventive"
  —Cinema Scope
"Scary, funny and sensual... a thoroughly modern ghost story that creeps into camp, testing the audience as it wavers between terrifying and deadpan funny"
  —Los Angeles Times
4 stars
  —Eye for Film
"The director weaves a comedic touch throughout the film, keeping the audience compellingly off balance when it pitches toward horror, and puts together a picture that slyly has much more going on beneath its laid-back surface"
  —The Playlist
"Deeply strange"
  —Chicago Tribune
Recommended "Blissfully strange"
  —NewCity Chicago

Escaping the stress and bustle of the city for the weekend, Ruth accompanies her friends to an expansive vacation home in the Hamptons. As they are divvying up sleeping arrangements for the night, Ruth picks the guesthouse, a quaint cottage with a sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean. Retiring from a wild night involving drugs and a hot tub, she finds someone (or is it something) in her room, a burlap-clad apparition that appears to be a little self-conscious. After their nocturnal encounter, Ruth's life resumes, but she finds herself plagued by a number of inexplicable side effects: she wakes up drenched in heavy slime, her skin peels off like plastic wrap, and she vomits black liquid uncontrollably. Ruth's doctor is stumped, but he suspects her condition has been sexually transmitted.

This debut feature from Harrison Atkins is an inventive genre mix, which slides seamlessly between the tender and the genuinely creepy. His screenplay nails millennial self-absorption and ennui in a way that provides a disarming sense of humor and a prevailing sense of dread, and both are brought to life with great comic timing by the young cast—including the film's co-producer and spiritual godfather Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, Happy Christmas).

A lo-fi comedy-drama with supernatural elements and a dark heart, Lace Crater is an oddly intimate portrait of isolation, friendship, love, and our desperate need for connection, whether human or spectral.

Directed by Harrison Atkins, 2015, U.S.A., 83 mins.


  • Fri., Aug. 12 at 7:30 pm
  • Sat., Aug. 13 at 6 pm
  • Sun., Aug. 14 at 6 & 7:30 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Aug. 15–18 at 7:30 pm
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$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation