Crave doesn’t fit in with any particular genre. It’s a drama, but there are a lot of funny parts. It’s a thriller, but it’s not like there’s a big chase or climactic scene where you’re on the edge of your seat. There’s gore and some violence, but it’s not a horror movie either. Whatever it is, it’s a really good movie that you should see as the movie engaged the audience at Fantastic Fest 2012 in a way that few movies can.
Crave, written and directed by Charles de Lauzirika in his first feature-length film, is about Aiden, a crime scene photographer played by Josh Lawson. Aiden is the kind of guy that takes everything in his personal life to an extreme. In everyday situations he fantasizes about what he’d like to see happen. At an AA meeting where two people keep talking, he wants to bash a guy’s head in with a sledge hammer. When he sees a guy harassing a girl on a train, he imagines himself saving her and then receiving a sexual favor as a reward. He has no filter, and while occasionally charming, lets the first thing he’s thinking slip out, which gets him in trouble.
He’s never as smooth or cool as he imagines himself to be, although he does try with some success as he spends time with his friend in the police department Pete, played by Ron Pearlman (Hellboy), and strikes up a new romance with Virginia, played by Emma Lung. Aiden is trying to be a hero and a villain at the same time. After taking a gun left behind at a crime scene, he imagines brandishing it in front of others but he’s also in the middle of blackmailing a business man he once worked for after discovering that he’s been crossing the Canadian border to have sex with an underaged girl.
The two most interesting things about the movie are trying to figure out what’s real and what isn’t, while at the same time enjoying Aiden’s constant inner-monologue which is constantly shifting between cool, funny, and panicky. It’s easy to connect with Josh, who wears a lot of his feelings on his sleeve. Without giving away the ending, Aiden turns out to be smarter than we all realized and while he’s often shown as a bumbling mess, he finally pulls things together… but not in the way that you’d expect. I’d definitely recommend paying to see this movie and look forward to catching it on cable or enjoying it on Netflix in the future. It’s certainly a unique movie experience in the best way.