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Clinger (2015)

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Clinger

clinger 188x300 - Clinger (2015)Starring Vincent Martella, Jennifer LaPorte, Julia Aks

Directed by Michael Steves


Everyone remembers their first love: the hand-holding, the awkward glances, the first kiss… and the decapitations. More importantly, it’s the knowledge that your primary crush won’t leave your side, even if they turn into a soul-sucking amorous leech that burrows in deeper than a wood tick into the levels of one’s dermis.

Such is the case with director Michael Steves’ teen-love-gone-wrong Clinger, which should encourage sufficient distance between two youngins when a courtin’. (Sorry to get all “Beverly Hillbillies” on you, but it needed to be said.)

Fern Petersen (LaPorte) is your common high school teen: good at school, readying for her chance to attend MIT come graduation-time, and delicately balancing the scales between her future and her new boyfriend, Robert Klingher (Martella), a baby-faced adolescent who best resembles one of those cute little puppies that will follow its master everywhere, all the time, relentlessly.

While his feelings for Fern are pure and innocent, his incessant presence can be viewed as a nuisance. We’ve got it all on display here: the little gifts, the song he writes for her, and that 1000-yard stare with googly eyes he gives her when right in her face. Torn between the thought of a long-standing relationship with him, therefore impeding her college career, Fern opts for a plan to give Robert the boot, and on the night before she can utter those dreadful severing words, a horrifying accident befalls him and he loses his head… literally, not figuratively.

Well, good old Robert is now in the past-tense; yet, he isn’t ready to leave his love’s side. Yep, Robert is back in paranormal form but doesn’t know it. Stuck in limbo between the living and the dead, his residence is at the local cemetery with dozens of other wayward souls, forcing him to question his own mortality. Fern’s situation seems dour, and without the help of her spaced-out parents (Debbie Rochon and Jeffrey Bean) or her jobless sister (Aks), who is a budding sock-puppet entrepreneur, she turns to maybe the only person who can be of some assistance: her track coach, Valeria (Alicia Monet Caldwell), who doubles as a paranormal investigator/medium of sorts. Robert’s end-goal is to murder Fern so that they can spend eternity together, whether she approves of it or not, and now it’s up to her and Valeria to stop Robert and his newly-assembled band of undead entities from bringing her back to his grave for a very tedious afterlife.

Unfortunately, the presentation is one that can seem a little confusing – while easy to follow, the movie doesn’t seem to pick a direction in which to go. We’ve got all the goofy humor and stereotypes of an MTV-styled teen angst comedy/drama with a smattering of gore and language that would prevent it from being shown all-out on regular cable, and although some performances are within passable levels, others drag it down to the sub-levels of flat-out annoyance. Peterson stands out in the lead role as she conveys both the teenage student that’s fairly adjusted and the grieving (and regretful) ex-girlfriend. Martella also shows a subtle comedic side as the pestering boyfriend, but the overacted displays of Fern’s sister and track coach are not only unfunny, but hard to pass off as characters that you wouldn’t want to shove into a deep, dark hole for all days, never to be heard from again.

When all was said and done, Clinger will prove to amuse the lightest of horror/comedy fans with its moments of casual laughter and vanilla gore, but for the rest of you genre aficionados, I’d request an order of protection against this adhesive specter.

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User Rating 3.56 (16 votes)

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