First love can be a real pain in the neck, Robert Klingher knows all too well after a gruesome and accidental decapitation.
Clinger starts off as a very innocent tale of first love set in a high school environment. Fearne is a running track star and chemistry whizz looking to get into college. Her unlikely boyfriend Robert is a real sensitive type who enjoys the simple things like playing guitar and cuddling. All seems well until a horrific accident ends with Robert losing his head. However his love is so strong for Fearne that he vows to never leave her side, even in the afterlife.
A lot of teen comedies rely on the same gags over and over and it can get rather stale. Clinger however used certain character tropes and cliques effectivly, adding horror elements or really clever tweaks just when you thought you knew where a scene was headed. Fearne’s Christian best friend Moe was always spouting unintentional sexual innuendos and it never got old. Coach Kingley also had a darkly comedic secret I wont spoil anything here, but lets just say she’s had a very interesting past!
Despite all these good points the film does suffer from some quite serious flaws, pacing being one of them. At just 81 minutes (including credits roll) Clinger is criminally short. It almost felt like a TV movie but with a higher budget. While the laughs and the action built up to a steady finale the film felt like it still ended prematurely. The end was far too abrupt and for a film with horror elements it wrapped itself up a little too cleanly. It would have been nice to see how the characters reacted and went about their lives after the ordeal, are there any more potential murderous ghosts out there too? Sadly we will never know.
Short and far from sweet, Clinger is a great homage to teen comedies with well executed horror elements that come at you hard and fast. Clique breaking characters and nicely incorporated use of practical effects are the real stars of the show. Pacing and a disappointing abrupt end hold Clinger back from being truly great but this is still a thoroughly enjoyable teen horror gem.
‘Clinger’ stars Vincent Martella, Jennifer Laporte, Alicia Monet Caldwell