I was sent an advanced screener of Clinger last week and I’ve been anxious to finally sit down and give it a look. Although the film is slightly marketed as a horror title, it was obvious to me that the blood and guts was going to take a back seat to comedy and teen drama. Still, Clinger caters to its core audience in a near perfect way so I decided it was more than deserving of a review. If you’re a woman aged 15 to 25 who enjoys a romantic comedy with a dark twist or if you’re a dude looking to surprise your partner with a fun, different date night movie, then here’s what you can expect from this feature film.
Clinger was written and directed by Michael Steves with Gabi Chennisi Duncombe and Bubba Fish. Cast members include Jennifer Laport, Vincent Martella (“Everyone Hates Chris,” “The Walking Dead”), Julia Aks, Shonna Major, Alicia Monet Caldwell, Taylor Clift, Rebecca Gail, Debbie Rochon (Santa Claws, Tromeo & Juliet), Jeffrey Bean and Leah Henley. Cinematography was performed by Gabi Chennisi Duncombe with special effects by Facades FX Make-up Lab.
“Fern Petersen, a driven high school senior, has her life turned upside down when her overly affectionate boyfriend, Robert Klingher, dies in an embarrassing accident. When Robert returns from the dead as a love-sick ghost, he tries to reunite with Fern – only to have his heart broken. As Robert plots to kill Fern so they can be together forever, Fern will have to fight to stay in the world of the living. Clinger is a blood-soaked coming of age story about the horrors of first love.” — IMDB
Fern, Fern, Fern…
Listen, we’ve all been there. Either we have been a clinger ourselves or we’ve been the victim of a lover who was way too clingy. Love is a hard emotion to navigate, especially when it’s your first time experiencing such a vibrant and terrifying feeling. That’s what makes Clinger so relate-able, especially when marketing it to a younger audience. Usually, or at least how mainstream media puts it out there, the woman in the relationship is the one that clings to your leg, forcing her way into every aspect of your life. See the hundreds of “Overly Attached Girlfriend” memes for examples of this. The script of Clinger is absolutely genius because it takes that concept and flips it – by making the boyfriend the one with a few french fries short of a happy meal – and then takes it one step further by killing him off, making him a love-ghost and then turning him completely and insanely homicidal. Duncombe, Fish and Steves really made something original here and I can’t applaud them enough for thinking outside the box. In a world where story-lines are repeated over and over again, the romantic-comedy genre needed something like Clinger to show people why it was so much fun in the first place. Add in the supernatural aspects and a couple “scary” scenes and… well… Clinger is a hit!
Yeah, you’ve never seen the world of the supernatural quite like this before and I love how complex and fleshed out this world is. Again, I love how much effort Duncombe, Fish and Steves put into making a worthwhile story. The track coach who turns out to be a former ghost hunter, the knowledge of various breeds of ghosts, the technology to help see and battle them and the way the “scary” elements were worked into the movie without messing up the fluidity of the moods and themes. Just awesome. Snarling, clawing, attacking teddy bears, drowning in rose petals, axes to the head, limbs getting chopped off, scissors to the dick, apparitions and other ghostly activity and so much more… Clinger is a wildly funny, entertaining and morbid ride you won’t see coming. And, for the horror fans, there’s a surprising amount of blood splashed around throughout the entire feature, despite what I first expected! As I was viewing, Clinger blew away my expectations and kept on getting better and better.
Fern, Fern, Fern…
The comedic bits are worked into the movie through facial expressions, awkward timing, sexual innuendos and sarcasm. Unlike a lot of other titles of the same nature, Clinger never tries to be funny. It just is. This was helped along by the phenomenal cast members. They’re all so diverse and different, yet they fit together like a perfect puzzle and their chemistry on camera was so natural and pleasant. Who did the casting? Kudos to you! Jennifer Laporte and Vincent Martella were fantastic lead actors – capable, professional and supremely talented. I, however, found myself drawn more-so to the supporting cast-members! Rebecca Gail, who played Jenny, was hands down my favorite actress and character. Jenny was so… out there. Alicia Monet Caldwell, who played Coach Valeria, was un-describable and I can’t wait to see more from her in the future. The innuendos and puns wouldn’t have been nearly effective without Shonna Major and Julia Aks’ dry humor really shined brightly, too. And I can’t forget to mention scream queen extraordinaire Debbie Rochon. Her name alone opens doors, her resume is legend, yet every time I see her I don’t recognize her until the credits role. With Clinger, Rochon continues to tackle every film role you can imagine with poise and professionalism. She truly is a world class actress and one of the best chameleons in the acting game.
I, honestly, did not expect to enjoy Clinger as much as I did. I haven’t written this thorough of a movie review in sometime, but I was moved to this time around. I liked Clinger so much, I’m probably going to purchase a copy of the movie whenever it hits DVD. It’s funny, dramatic and well acted while also being spooky, bloody and bizarre. I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it before…ever. It also has one of the most catchy tunes you’ll ever hear in a movie, which is both a blessing and a curse! Clinger is definitely HorrorSociety approved, although it may not appeal to everyone in the horror demographic. Final Score: 9 out of 10. Take it for what it is, people. It’s not meant to be in your face horror.