directed by Michael Steves
starring Jennifer Laporte, Vincent Martella, Alicia Monet Caldwell
Starting off as a cute little high school romance story, Fern and Robert become each others first significant others before Robert is killed. Robert returns as an infatuated and spellbound ghost, only visible to the uncomfortable Fern, who just wants to move on. The plot of a boyfriend or girlfriend returning from the dead as a ghost or zombie in a horror comedy is not an original one at this point, and for that reason Clinger doesn’t really come off as groundbreaking, but it’s a decent little effort that has a few charms and memorable moments. Leads Jennifer Laporte and Vincent Martella as Fern and Robert share the screen well, and there are a few other good, comedic characters in the rest of the cast.
With the films intro scenes leading to the opening title screen, Clinger had me really excited. It seemed like a good mix of seriousness and parody, with high school being a great setting for that over-the-top, dramatic humor and focus on relationships. However, as the film went on, it started to feel more and more like a made for television movie that just happened to have a liberal license for splattering blood. Of course that’s a nice bonus, but the style of the film started to feel like a Goosebumps or a Are You Afraid of the Dark episode, which made the film seem almost juvenile. That isn’t to say the humor is immature or without bite, in fact, there are plenty of suggestively themed jokes. However, while a lot of the jokes do hit, they only inspire chuckles rather than loud guffawing and there really aren’t a lot of memorable gags.
Clinger starts well and ends well, but there are too many bits in the middle where it drags or just isn’t that effective. It’s not a film that leaves you disappointed because of it’s quality, but rather what it could have been. I think with a little more organization in the middle, a punch-up of the script to give it heartier laughs, Clinger could have been a lot more enjoyable. It’s got a good cast, the sense of satire is sharp, but doesn’t have a sparkling, fleshed-out script. It’s a fun little movie, but unless you’re especially keen to see it for some reason, it can be easily viewed or skipped.