Emily (Jamie Saunders) is a rather ordinary young woman. Desperately trying to be studious, the New York City college student is an introvert desperately trying to survive the seemingly endless line of roommates with whom she shares living quarters without completely losing her sanity. So, it's not particularly surprising that when she gets the chance to live in the spacious Upper West Side apartment owned by her recently deceased grandmother she jumps at the opportunity to snag some peace and quiet and live in her own space.
However, Emily's life begins to change when she encounters in the apartment a little white porcelain cup, a ramekin, and this seemingly benign porcelain cup slowly begins to control every aspect of Emily's life and demands the unthinkable.
Written and directed by Cody Clarke (Shredder, Rehearsals), Ramekin is a slow burning, darkly comical horror flick that accomplishes quite a bit within the span of its relatively slight 70-minute running time. Only recently completed, Ramekin is getting set to kick off its indie festival run with its most likely success to be found amongst the nation's low-budget and microcinema fests.
Have you ever had an experience where you kinda sorta pre-judged a film in its opening minutes only to find yourself having a complete change of heart by film's end? This was the case for me with Ramekin, which had me a tad concerned early on with Saunders's ability to pull off such a multi-layered, nuanced role - turns out, I was wrong. She's the glue that holds the film together and completely rocks it as Emily. From the early moments as a slightly overwhelmed college student into the increasingly disturbing territory of a young woman whose entire being has been taken over by this ramekin, Jamie Saunders that makes you surrender to yourself to her story and care about what's going on.
Okay, I'll just say it. We kind of become her ramekin.
Clarke, whose work I've reviewed on at least a couple of occasions, wisely holds back on major revealers in favor of amping up the mystery and making the viewer come to their own conclusions. Some may find that a tad frustrating, but I found it more than a little refreshing.
The rest of the ensemble cast is for the most part strong here, though there's little denying that Ramekin really is a film that depends entirely on Saunders. The film also benefits greatly from Clarke's own bright, creative lensing and an original soundtrack that gives the film a constant spark.
Ramekin isn't a flawless film. Lines occasionally fall flat and the inevitable challenges of low-budget filmmaking do surface from time-to-time, but it's a film that largely overcomes those challenges with a top notch leading performance and the multi-talented Clarke's clarity of vision and ability to bring that vision to life.
For more information on Ramekin, visit the film's website linked to in the credits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic