02nd Jul2019

‘Clinton Road’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Ace Young, Erin O’Brien, Cody Calafiore, Katie Morrison, Lauren LaVera, James DeBello, Sarah Pribis, Ice-T, Eric Roberts, Vincent Pastore, Carlos Leon, Bo Dietl, Margo Urban | Written by Derek Ross Mackay | Directed by Richard Grieco, Steve Stanulis

clinton-road-poster

When a films starts with a simple narrative explaining the movie or what is about to happen, with the text showing on screen, I always have a quick smile. There’s some classic horror that has started this way and I think I mostly remember it from the begining of The Blair Witch Project. Because of that my hopes are always a little higher when I see this, for some reason I forget the dozens, possibly hundreds of movies that I’ve seen with this opening that haven’t been so great. As you’ve probably guessed, Clinton Road starts this way.

Clinton Road has three fairly well known acting names that star. These being Ice-T, Eric Roberts and Vincent Pastore. Their cameos are out of the way, all together in opening fifteen minutes though. In scenes that are not only forgetful but have no bearing on the movie. They could be taken out and it wouldn’t make any difference whatsoever. They are clearly involved to get the name on the front of any release.

It’s hard to criticise the rest of the cast too much because, while the performances are far from great, they get so little to work with. One scene involving a ‘witch doctor’ having visions and some kind of seizure is laughably bad but I assume it is how the directors (there’s two) wanted it too look. The script is full of poor dialogue and characters that scare very very easily – all it takes in one scene is a young girl wearing black metal make-up to scream and two characters run as fast as possible in the opposite direction – and make some of the most awful decisions. Even by horror movie standard decision making. When two characters see a boy head down in a river, the guy decides to jump in. Well not immediately, he takes all his clothes off until he gets to his underwear (which he thankfully leaves on), seemingly just giving the drowning child more time to drown.

The music is some of the most off-putting I’ve heard in a long time. It’s mostly just too loud all the time, so any tension or atmosphere is lost and sometimes you have a hard time hearing what the characters are saying. Unless they scream, which is then suddenly deafening.

The killer is not scary in the slightest and has no presence at all. The death scenes are almost non-existent and very boring for a genre movie. There’s also a hit and run moment which is probably the least realistic I have ever seen.

As you can tell, I wasn’t a fan of Clinton Road. I go into every film I want, absolutely wanting to love it but this gave me nothing back at all. There’s clearly an attempt here at making something similar to The Blair Witch Project but without the found footage. It has some ideas that may have worked if they were clearer and more entertaining but by the end of the movie I wasn’t really sure what was going on and I wasn’t even that bothered.

Unfortunately I will have forgotten Clinton Road by the end of the month.

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