Thunder Bay, Canada | Film Short

Horror, Thriller

Laura-Lynn Petrick

1 Campaigns | Ontario, Canada

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Once childhood friends from the lake, now at 26, Shaun and Annie find themselves again spending summer at neighbouring cabins. As the cyclical return nears of the Finnish demon, Lempo, Annie must decide: Sacrifice herself to break an intergenerational curse or trust in herself and fight back.

About The Project

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Mission Statement

We're Finnish-Canadian filmmakers creating a new genre of diasporic folk horror with a minimalistic ethereal aesthetic. The story is inspired by Finnish folklore and our ancestors' documented journey from fleeing Russian-occupied Finland to settling homesteads in rural Thunder Bay.

The Story


Annie, a 26-year-old orphan, returns to the lakeside cabin she inherited to break an intergenerational curse.  

LEMPO is a Finnish-Canadian horror film, inspired by Finnish folklore and the documented journey of the filmmakers' ancestors from Russian-occupied Finland to rural Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The film tells the story of Annie and Shaun, who grew up together at One Island Lake, but fell out of touch following the tragic death of Annie's father. Annie and Shaun reunite in the summer of 2004, as 26-year-olds, and sparks fly. But Annie's haunted by more than her traumatic past as the demon Lempo's cyclical return nears. She struggles to decide: give into the demon's curse or trust in love and fight back.

Set in 2004 and filmed lakeside in Northwestern Ontario, LEMPO asks: Can we ever break free from our ancestral demons?



Once childhood best friends from the lake, now at 26, Shaun and Annie find themselves spending the summer of 2004 at neighbouring cabins. Shaun escapes his high-stress medical residency with boozy saunas and the sexiest shooter girl in town, while Annie processes the "accidental" deaths of her sister, mother and fatherwhich happened at the lake, each six years apart on June 6.

When Shaun and Annie cross paths, their chemistry reignites until Annie reveals her theory that her family is cursed by Lempo, a demon who followed her Finnish ancestors to rural Lappe, Northwestern Ontario, from Helsinki, Finland in the early 20th century.

Like a cicada cycle, the demon surfaces from Hell every sixty-six years to feed on Annie's bloodline for six, six-year cycles; a curse that will last forevermore. That is, unless Annie can put an end to it.

But Annie doesn't expect to fall for Shaun. As Lempo's resurgence nears, she must decide: Sacrifice herself to break the intergenerational curse plaguing her family or trust in love and fight back.

Themes: intergenerational trauma; substance abuse; the dark sides of love, sex, and sisu

Why us? Why this? Why here? Why now?

Why us?

We are Finnish-Canadian sisters and filmmakers (writer and director team) telling a Finnish-Canadian story, set at our rural camp once settled by our Finnish ancestors, inspired by Finnish mythology, the journey of our Finnish relatives to Canada, and slasher films we watched at camp growing up.

We're bringing new techniques and fresh nuance to the horror genre, drawing on folklore and our millennial adolescences, creating a new genre of diasporic folk horror.

Why this?

Inspired by ancestors’ journey

LEMPO draws inspiration from the story of Anna Koivu, the filmmakers’ great great grandma who fled Russian-occupied Helsinki in the early 20th century to settle a rural homestead in Intola, outside of what's now known as Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Anna's story can be found in "Anna Koivu: A Finnish-Canadian Woman with Sisu." Great Dames, edited by Elspeth Cameron and Janice Dickin, University of Toronto Press, 1997.

Based on Finnish folklore 

In Finnish paganism and myth, Lempo was once considered a god of fertility and love until Christianity spread across Finland and transformed the spirit into the devil himself. 

Both forms of Lempo are represented in this film. Love and sex act as the conduit through which Lempo perpetuates his cycles of pain. 


Camp, ethereal, enigmatic, folklore, minimalistic, Nordic, nostalgic, raw, wild

The film's mood is inspired by campy horror films the Petrick's grew up on and Ari Aster's early works like Midsommar.

The cinematography is inspired by the aesthetics of Ingmar Bergman's films & Petrick's personal photography of the region.

The director is very influenced by the dark motifs and abundant symbolism found in Scandinavian & European cinema.


The tumultuous wilderness of Northwestern Ontario 

Slasher films we watched on VHS at the lake as kids

Ghost stories told around bonfires 

Growing up in Thunder Bay 

Nordic horror films

One Island Lake






Why here?

Set and filmed in rural Thunder Bay in Lappe, Ontario

at lakeside camps settled by Finnish pioneers in rural Thunder Bay, Ontario, now turned enviable "cottage country"

The filmmakers grew up at camp* on One Island Lake, just outside Lappe, a community established by Finnish settlers in the early 20th century.

Today, Finnish influence in the region remains prevalent in the form of saunas, sisu, and the vast quantities of vodka and beers consumed around bonfires over tales of ghosts, misfortune, and haunted woods.

*Camp = Northwestern Ontario term for “cottage” (if you're from the east) or “cabin” (if you're from the west) 

Growing up, the Petrick’s scared themselves silly at camp watching slasher horror series like Friday the 13th and Halloween.

Contemporarily, they’re enchanted by the raw, unbridled wilderness of the region’s natural beauty, the idea their ancestors brought with them Finnish spirits from Finland who continue to haunt the land, and Nordic folk horror cinema. 

Thunder Bay continues to boost Finnish culture, home to one of the largest populations of persons with Finnish heritage outside of Finland.

Why now?

We're ready!

Director Laura-Lynn Petrick has produced, directed, and edited over 110+ music videos, short films, and documentaries. She's spent most of her life documenting the rural region of Thunder Bay, honing a deep empathetic connection to the land. She's made music videos for labels like Sub Pop, Universal, and Sony, and acclaimed artists including Weyes Blood, Girl in Red, Rosie Darling, Mac DeMarco. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Dazed & Confused, Rolling Stones, Nylon, Harper's Bazaar, and Toronto Star. She's shot campaigns for Toyota, Vans, and American Apparel.

Writer and producer Tina Petrick wrote the screenplay LEMPO at camp during the pandemic. She had just finished her first novel, which takes place on an island on Lake Michigan, and wanted to set her next project closer to home. She asked herself: What could she write that was uniquely her story to tell? The idea formed for LEMPO, a horror story set at the very same camp she found herself writing from, inspired by Finnish folklore, the story of her ancestors, and her experience growing up at the lake. Tina's writing has appeared in The Globe & Mail, travel magazines, and literary journals. Her first novel came out in April 2023 under a penname, and she teaches writing as a sessional instructor at the Alexandra Writers' Centre.

Context: How you can help us

With your help, we can produce this short film in August 2023.

We'll submit the short film to festivals to attract the attention of investors, distributors, and grant funders with a view to filming a feature-length version of LEMPO in August 2024.

For every $1,000 we raise, we'll post a new behind-the-scenes video on our website and Instagram.

Our stretch goal: Any amount raised over our $10,000 will go directly towards funding the feature-length version of LEMPO.

Please help us make this film.

Your contribution is appreciated and will be rewarded with our delightful incentives.


From Director Laura-Lynn Petrick: https://lauralynnpetrick.com


Tina Petrick: https://tinapetrick.com


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Set Design

Costs $300

With the help of artist & folklore master, Sister Mollusk - we can set the film in the early 2000's with a special "campy" touch.

Camera Equipment Costs

Costs $2,000

We want to shoot this on a sony fx-3 (netflix approved camera) with film lenses to give it a very special look. We'll be renting locally.

Production Costs

Costs $2,500

Our product costs are essential to ensure we have everything we need to go forward with shooting. Gas/lighting/transportation/craft.

Production Crew

Costs $2,500

We want our crew to receive compensation for their work on the project. This covers the PA's, Sound, and AD.

Sound Equipment

Costs $1,050

Renting local sound equipment to get high quality cinematic sound for the film.

Promo Web & Advertising

Costs $350

This helps us catapult Lempo into the www. & spread the word about our film.

Coloring / Post Production

Costs $500

We want this film to look as best as it possibly can. Because we're shooting raw on a high res cinema cam, hiring a colorist is key to this.


Costs $800

We want our cast to be compensated for their work on the project.

About This Team

From Finnish-Canadian sisters, Laura-Lynn Petrick & Tina Petrick, with a cast that draws from Ontario's indie music scene

Laura-Lynn Petrick, Director

  • Directed, produced, and edited over 110 music videos for acclaimed artists and labels including Sub Pop Records, Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Weyes Blood, Girl in Red, Mac DeMarco, and Rosie Darling

  • Shot campaigns for American Apparel, Toyota, Lot 40 Whisky, Vans, Vice

  • Work has been published in New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Dazed & Confused, Rolling Stones, Harper's Bazaar, and Toronto Star

Tina Petrick, Screenwriter & Producer

  • Award-winning screenwriter, viral creative non-fiction writer, and novelist

  • Lawyer with production experience at ABC and creative at Apple

  • Former general counsel and startup executive, sessional instructor at University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business and the Alexandra Writers' Centre

Caitlin Woelfle-O'Brien, Lead Actor (Annie)

  • Known as music act "Blunt Chunks"

  • EP, Part of Me, released in late 2022 on Telephone Explosion with a feature in Fader Magazine.

Kai Davey-Belin, Lead Actor (Shaun)

  • Musician from Sunshine & the Blue Moon, acted and directed several short films

  • Toured Canada and opened for music acts The Growlers, Weyes Blood, Mac DeMarco, and Allah-Las

Sami Erkkila-Pinta, Lead Actor (Lempo)

  • Music video and short film actor

  • Lead in music videos for international bands Killer Star and Dana Gavanski and Vans/Vice documentary "Northern Kicks"

Full Crew

Director: Laura-Lynn Petrick

Writer/Producer: Tina Petrick

Cinematographer: Laura-Lynn Petrick

Sound: Adrien Harpelle

Assistant Director: Connor McMahon

Executive Producer: Wyatt H. Huber

Full Cast

Annie: Caitlin Wolfe-O'Brien

Shaun: Kai Davey-Bellin

Lempo: Sami Erkkila-Pinta

Melissa: Laura Muzzi

Ben: Wyatt H. Huber

Julie: Tara Ottertail

Current Team