Reviews: Clinger

Mike's review of Clinger is here. Read it but make sure to wipe first. 

"Sounds gross. I'm totally in."
"True Love Conquers All".  This is one of the most basic tenets in storytelling.  A love that can survive even death has been romanticized as long as there has been media to tell stories.  After all, who among us is immune to a great tragic love story?  Unfortunately, Slamdance festival selection Clinger is not a great tragic love story.  In fact, it's not even a good one. 

Driven high school student Fern falls for cute but clingy Robert, who dies while professing his love.  Robert isn't about to let something like death keep him from the woman he loves, and he'll go to occasionally bizarre and terrifying lengths to spend forever with her.  Clinger is a horror comedy that can never quite decide if it wants to be horror or comedy.  What it is instead is an awkward mess that's embarrassingly weird rather than scary or funny.  It is the unholy hybrid of It Follows, Ghostbusters, Twilight and My Boyfriend's Back that you never thought you'd see simply because it has no reason to exist.

The two leads, newcomer Jennifer Laporte as Fern and Vincent Martella as Robert, are easily the best part of Clinger.  They seem to be having fun with the ridiculousness of the material, keeping it grounded while everything else falls apart around them.  And fall apart it does.  What starts out as an interesting and fun concept quickly devolves into bizarre nonsense, punctuated by laughably amateurish digital effects and production values to rival a late night Cinemax film.  There is occasionally an honest chuckle or two, but the unintentional chuckles are much louder and more frequent.

Clinger has the elements to be something interesting, with a potentially fun concept and decent lead acting.  But not only does it never live up to this potential, it never tries.  It is a mishmash of weird and awkward failures that only gets increasingly more awful as the mercifully short run time goes on, culminating in a nearly unwatchable, off-the-rails climax.  Clinger is a tragic, comic love story that only succeeds in being tragic.

Clinger hits VOD and limited run theaters on October 23rd. 


-Mike Stec

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