Terror TV began its broadcast [after]life in a real horror movie setting – COVID 19. So to premiere a story based on fact seems apropos. CLINTON ROAD, based on accounts documented along a haunted stretch of highway in rural New Jersey, involves a widowed firefighter seeking closure after his wife goes missing on that haunted road. He must unlock the road’s secret if he wants to get out alive. Directed by TV icon, Richard Grieco and screenwriter Steve Stanulis the guest cast features Ice-T and Vincent Pastore as club owners, with Ace Young, Erin O’Brien, Cody Calafiore, Katie Morrison, Lauren LaVera, James DeBello, and Sarah Pribis as the unlucky bunch that go into the woods at night.
Grieco and Stanulis aimed for real in this taught thriller. The gritty night club setting was a great preamble for the dark secluded road and forest that our young stars are forced to venture into. The irony of the characters played by Ice-T and Pastore give us the feel that we are going back in time. This was a subtle way of getting us into the mood of a place out of reach, time used surreal, and characters that have “come back” or at least never left.
The dialogue, camera angles, and characterizations were all quite customary but here, they were cleverly played “real.” Right now, the world is quarantined, living a horror movie for real, just as this film takes the customary elements of horror and plays them as fact. There are creatures that live in those woods and they are shot as real/not real, all bathed in the eerie light of a camp fire or flash-or-headlights, Don’t think about how a ghost from a lavish film might be depicted (complete will CGI), but what might that ghost look like if it were really out there. THAT’s what you find on Clinton Road.
Ace Young, Erin O’Brien, Cody Calafiore, Katie Morrison, Lauren LaVera, James DeBello (excellent as the psychic), and Sarah Pribis must have really been scared filming in the woods overnight as the looks of terror – and there were many opportunities – were genuine and added to the visceral creepiness quite well.
The monsters – and there must be some in a film like this – could easily become iconic. Derek Ross Mackay as a sneariung Jason type “iron-worker” was frightening by himself but when you put him with the demon child (yup, there’s one of those too) played oh so creepily by Samantha Mackay Alcantra you have a sequel worthy combination.
Technical hiccups can be seen here and there – a scene too dark, the sound too strong but for a good old fashioned killer ghost horror movie, this certainly fits the bill.
Terror TV’s Creeping Critic gives it 4 out of 5 SKULLS