Crave (film)

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Directed byCharles de Lauzirika
Written byRobert A. Lawton, Charles de Lauzirika
StarringJosh Lawson, Emma Lung, Ron Perlman
Music byJustin Caine Burnett
CinematographyWilliam Eubank
Edited byDavid Crowther
Iron Helmet, Another Green World Productions
Distributed byPhase 4 Films
Release date
  • July 24, 2012 (2012-07-24) (Fantasia International Film Festival)
  • December 6, 2013 (2013-12-06) (United States)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States

Crave (also known under the working titles of Shatterbrain and Two Wolves) is a 2012 American drama thriller film directed by Charles de Lauzirika. The film stars Josh Lawson as a man who retreats into a fantasy world that comes with deadly consequences. Crave had its world premiere on July 24, 2012 at the Fantasia International Film Festival and had a wider theatrical and video on demand release on December 6, 2013.[1][2]


Aiden (Josh Lawson) is an underpaid and lonely freelance crime scene photographer who copes with the world around him by imagining himself as a hero who saves the day. His world is turned upside down when he meets Virginia (Emma Lung), who breathes new life into his daily routine and gives him a new sense of confidence. This gives him the courage to make his daydreams into a reality, which comes with some negative repercussions as Aiden's sense of justice might be considered warped. He accidentally kills Ravi (Edward Furlong), Virginia's boyfriend, and by making it look as though a junky killed him makes the ultimate effort to gain Virginia.



Lauzirika came up with the idea for Crave while working on an unrelated film, an adaptation of Phillip K Dick's I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon.[3] Dick's daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, encouraged Lauzirika to make a smaller film before beginning the larger project and Lauzirika's former neighbor Robert Lawton pitched him the premise of Crave.[3] The idea was that the film would be "Travis Bickle meets Walter Mitty" and Lauzirika and Lawton worked on developing the film's script and main character for two months, during which point each man wrote two drafts of the script.[3] Lauzirika based part of Aiden's relationship with Virginia upon his own experiences, which he felt made the movie "a little more interesting and a little more human".[3] He also chose to leave the film's ending deliberately ambiguous, as he did have a set interpretation of the ending but liked the idea of multiple interpretations as he feels that "it’s much more interesting to leave the theater with a question so people leave talking about it rather than having the answer handed to you on a silver platter".[3] Josh Lawson was brought in to portray Aiden, which Lauzirika felt made the character "more human and likable", which he believed made the character's interactions with Lung's character more explainable.[4] Furlong was not initially considered for the role of Ravi, but was hired upon the recommendation of the movie's costume designer Oakley Stevenson.[4]

Crave was initially written and planned to be shot in New York City, but moved the film's setting and shooting location to Detroit due to Michigan's tax incentives for filmmakers.[5] Lauzirika had some initial hesitations over this shift, but later felt that the move was appropriate as Detroit was "a good match for Aiden" and was very photogenic.[5] Filming took place during late 2009, but experienced some setbacks during filming, as a scene that was to be set on the Detroit People Mover was canceled at the last minute due to concerns over the film's violent and sexual content.[4]


Throughout most of its film festival run, critical reaction to the film was largely positive. Ain't It Cool News said it was "a remarkable first film" and that it "gets under the skin the way the best character movies do,"[6] while Badass Digest called it, "smart, thoughtful, bloody and funny. An excellent and assured directorial debut." [7] Famous Monsters of Filmland gave the film a 9 out of 10 score, saying that "Lauzirika’s directs with such confidence that he is able take themes that we’ve seen time and again and make them fresh and entertaining."[8] Variety's less enthusiastic review said that "Lauzirika’s accomplished debut feature is too funny and self-aware to be disturbing, but it’s certainly memorable."[9] Fangoria called Crave "the kind of tough, uncompromising character study that Hollywood used to turn out with regularity, and should be supported and treasured when it appears today."[10] Bloody Disgusting gave the film four stars and said, "it's like nothing I've seen before. A great film." [11] Complex claimed that "Crave signals the arrival of an attention-demanding filmmaker who's schooled in the down and dirty noir tropes of old but possesses more than enough ingenuity to avoid copycat status."[12]

In the wake of the film's theatrical and on demand release, reaction became more mixed and the film currently holds a rating of 36% "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes based upon 11 reviews, which do not include any of the film's festival reviews.[13] Shock Till You Drop gave a predominantly positive review, saying that it was a "taut, twisted tale" and that it was "about all of us in a way, but especially the ones who get lost along the way."[14] The Village Voice criticized Lawson's character as a "jerk" and didn't feel that his motivation for vigilantism was believable in comparison to anti-hero characters such as Falling Down's Foster.[15] Collider opined that the movie "does have a relatable and worthwhile issue worth exploring" but that "Lauzirika is always going big yet going nowhere".[16] Twitch Film panned the movie overall, criticizing Furlong as the film's weakest link while also stating that his character gave the reviewer his favorite moment of the film.[17]



  1. ^ "Crave". Fantasia Festival. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  2. ^ "A movie to "CRAVE" sets U.S. release date". Fangoria. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e Jimenez, Christopher. "Shock Interview: Crave Director Charles de Lauzirika". STYD. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "AICN HORROR talks with Charles de Lauzirika, director of the excellent new thriller CRAVE! Plus a review of the film!". AICN. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b "EXCLUSIVE: Director Charles de Lauzirika Talks Crave". Movie Web. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Nordling On CRAVE! Fantastic Fest 2012!".
  7. ^ "Crave".
  8. ^ "Crave". Archived from the original on 2013-12-24.
  9. ^ Anderson, John. "Review: 'Crave'". Variety. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  10. ^ "CRAVE (movie review)".
  11. ^ "Toronto After Dark '12 Lonmonster's Mini Review: 'Inbred' & 'Crave'".
  12. ^ Barone, Matt. "Fantastic Fest Review: Intelligent, Unpredictable, & Bold, "Crave" Is One Of The Most Impressive Debuts In Recent Memory". Complex. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Crave". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  14. ^ Jimenez, Christopher. "Review: Crave is a Taut, Twisted Tale". STYD. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  15. ^ Vonder Haar, Pete. "There's No Motive Behind the Psycho Killings in Crave -- Just a Loser". Village Voice. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  16. ^ Goldberg, Matt. "CRAVE Review". Collider. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  17. ^ Chaplinsky, Joshua. "Review: CRAVE Fails To Satisfy". Twitch Film. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  18. ^ "Crave". Fantastic Fest. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  19. ^ "Crave".
  20. ^ "AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR TORONTO AFTER DARK 2012!". TAD. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.

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