Directed by Richard Grieco [Other horror films: N/A] & Steve Stanulis [Other horror films: Hinsdale House (2019)]
I didn’t have high hopes for Clinton Road, and the little hope I did have evaporated upon the ‘Based off true events’ disclaimer at the beginning. To be fair, the movie sort of hits it’s stride midway through, but the second half is pretty damn derivative, and nothing really saves this movie.
Apparently there is a Clinton Road in New Jersey that some connect to [insert your favorite unverifiable supernatural claim here], and so basing a movie around it makes sense, but to then insist it’s based off a true event when there’s no evidence of any supernatural events whatsoever just annoys the hell out of me. Do these people think we’ll find the movie scarier if the beginning insists the story’s true?
Let me let you guys in on a secret: it doesn’t.
The problem here is that once you get past the decent production value (and there’s no doubt that the movie certainly looks nice), the story is derivative and void of original content. A few of the characters are okay (such as those played by Ace Young and Katie Morrison), but for the most part, they’re either forgettable or utterly irksome (Lauren LaVera’s character, I’m looking at you). Ice-T has a small role here, and to be fair, he’s decent, though he adds little to the story.
God, the story, though. People wandering around the woods hearing noises (thumping, a girl crying), hallucinating (the Purple House a case in point), getting turned around or confused, a couple of unrestful spirits chasing them down – this isn’t new territory. Like I said, the movie looks nice, and the quality’s good, but that doesn’t make the story any less stale.
Around twenty-five minutes in, or so, I was hopeful that Clinton Road could exceed my (admittedly low) expectations, and the film could break-even to an average score, but that didn’t happen. The ending is just a mishmash of annoyingly cliché tropes that aren’t expanded on, and that post-credit scene was literally useless.
I mean, they took the time to film that, but it didn’t do anything to clear up the events at all. Why waste our time with that to begin with? Who thought that was worth recording? Who thought ‘well, have to find something to throw in post-credit, so why not this?’ The Cabin Fever remake had a pretty pointless mid-credits scene, and a post-credit scene, but theoretically someone could find them a little humorous. But what Clinton Road gave us?