CLINTON ROAD (2018)
Clinton Road is “Inspired by real events”. While I doubt anything resembling these events actually happened there is a Clinton Road in New Jersey. And it is alleged to be badly haunted, so I suppose the film can say it was indeed inspired. In any case, co-directors Richard Grieco (22 Jump Street, Minutes To Midnight) and Steve Stanulis (Hinsdale House, Alter Ego) use the road as a jumping off point for a tale of missing people and things that go bump in the night.
Michael (Ace Young) has lost his wife Jessica (Sarah Pribis), literally. She vanished somewhere on Clinton Road. Now he, her sister Isabella (Katie Morrison, Bite Me) and his new girlfriend Kayla (Lauren LaVera) are going to find out what happened to her. Their friend Gianna (Erin O’Brien, Killing Joan) has a new boyfriend Begory (James DeBello, Masked Mutilator) who’s a medium. Along with Tyler (Cody Calafiore) Mike’s cynical buddy they head down Clinton Road.
The first twenty minutes of Clinton Road takes place in the club owned by RJ (Ice-T, Bloodrunners, New Jack City) and his partner (Vincent Pastore, The Sopranos, Black Wake). This lets us get out all the expository dialogue. And work in cameos from Bo Dietl, (Bad Lieutenant, Maniac Cop 2) as the mayor and Eric Roberts (Hide In The Light, Runaway Train) as Eric.
Once we get out to the woods Clinton Road starts to hit all the cliches including a creepy Ranger (Carlos Leon, The Replacement Killers, The Echo) and sex by the campfire. And, of course, people wandering into the darkness to check out odd sounds.
Clinton Road runs 73 minutes and takes until the 40-minute mark to start bringing out the scares. And then we get some creepy looking ghost kids. And some big bald guy who looks like he wandered over from a biker bar. Begory blurts something out at one point about them not being able to cross over. That they were tricked into collecting the spirits of the damned. But it’s never really explained who or what they are and why they’re killing people.
This is the first theatrical release from Midnight Releasing after years of sending films directly to video. But given some of their recent films include Australiens, Knucklebones and The Incantation I have to wonder why they waited for this one. It’s incredibly generic and feels like a cheap VHS rental, and as such fits a DTV release much better. The 10-city theatrical (cities to be announced) and PVOD release of Clinton Road begins June 14. Check the film’s Facebook page for updates and the list of cities when they’re announced.