The Movie Waffler New Release Review (VOD) - CLINTON ROAD | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review (VOD) - CLINTON ROAD

clinton road review
A group of friends run afoul of the infamous New Jersey road.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Steve Stanulis, Richard Grieco

Starring: Katie Morrison, Ace Young, Erin O'Brien, Ice-T, James DeBello, Vincent Pastore, Eric Roberts

clinton road poster

The real life legend claims that Clinton Road is a 10-mile stretch of road that is supposedly one of the most haunted places in the United States.

Over aerial shots of the legendary roadway itself, we hear a phone message left for grieving Michael by Isabella (Katie Morrison) where she says "it's been almost a year since you lost Jess" and suggests meeting up again after all these years.

That weekend, at the re-opening of a friend's city nightclub, the group of people meet up and there's clear animosity between a few of them, particularly with Tyler (Cody Calafiore), who initially acts like a petulant brat (he’s troubled, don’t ya know?).

They're discussing the previously mentioned Jess who went missing on Clinton Road a year ago. She was the fiancé of Michael (Ace Young) who has come to the catch up with his new squeeze.

clinton road review

RJ (Ice-T), who owns the night club, shares his own story of time repeating while on Clinton road. "The place is evil," he warns, "don't go there."

Completely ignoring their friend, they do shots and say, "Let's go to Clinton Road!"

Heading out there the next day they meet up with Isabella’s boyfriend Begory (James DeBello), who is some sort of ghost whisperer. He promptly has a seizure and their anxiety escalates as they realise they can't even find the car and are lost in the woods.

Things go from bad to worse as night approaches. There are visions and apparitions; there's a recurring image of a man in welding glasses bashing something, but I'm not entirely sure how he relates to the plot, what little plot there is.

clinton road review

We spend the rest of the film watching people panic that they can't get home, wandering about the woods, stumbling upon ghostly little girls who scream at the camera for effect, which actually has no effect, while absolutely no sense of dread or fear is built-up at all. Considering the real-life back-story and locational spookiness, it’s a huge missed opportunity that its potential is squandered in clumsy direction and sign-posted non-scares.

Directed by Stephen Stanulis and 'formerly of Television’s 21 Jump Street and Booker' Richard Grieco, this is a muddled, shambolic, less-than-engaging snooze.

The audio is strangely muted so that sometimes it's very difficult to understand what is being said, but as little time is spent on building the characters it doesn't seem to be a big loss that you can't hear them.

clinton road review

There's one fairly effective scene that takes place in a cabin in the woods, but then the film devolves into an unlikely and ridiculously staged death that just brings down the tone again.

The star cameos are an odd addition to this film also, what with Eric Roberts playing Eric Roberts showing up for one scene at the beginning and of course, Ice-T in the night club, both adding very little to the movie and in fact, detracting from the story. 20 minutes later when it actually started for real and we hit Clinton Road, it's just those pesky young 'uns putting themselves in harm's way – hardly riveting stuff.

At 77 minutes this felt much longer, and frankly, was just not my cup of Ice-T.

Clinton Road is on VOD now.

2019 movie reviews