Review by Wesley Collins
If there was ever a film that was completely explained in its title, Clinger fits the bill a hundred times over. Clinger is an odd film in its presentation but has elements, which makes it mightily entertaining. As the film begins it has an innocent type of feel to it but once the main character Fern loses her boyfriend in a brutal beheading, the story takes a very raunchy and daunting turn. What’s so watchable about Clinger is the easy transition between serious issues adolescents go through and the adult like comedy sprinkled throughout the film. The story line itself isn’t one of complete originality but character development, how they relate to one another and dialogue used makes Clinger an intriguing film.
The stories main character is a high school track runner named Fern who meets her first boyfriend Robert during an accident at track practice in which she dislocates her shoulder. Their relationship begins to blossom into untold happiness until Robert becomes obsessed with Fern and he unknowingly ruptures his relationship with her. As Fern looks for a way to break ties with Robert, he loses his life in a truly unfortunate accident and Ferns’ life spirals out of control due to Roberts’s ghostly rage. As Robert attempts to get Fern to join him in the afterlife, she deals with college acceptance and quirky high school classmates in an attempt to put her life back on track.
While Clinger has many levels to it, at its core it’s the story of young lovers looking for the best and easiest way to move on after being each other’s first love. The stories’ beginning offers a feeling of joy and nostalgia. Seeing Fern and Robert smitten with one another brought back memories of my own high school love life. I believe that was the films intent. The ability to invoke those feelings and thoughts in the viewer is truly significant to the overall presentation of the story. Clinger isn’t a film for everyone I believe but more of an acquired taste. Jumping from kid like activities to blood, gore and vulgar language is a different kind of transition to say the least. I would recommend Clinger to anyone looking for unexpected comedy with an odd age-old love story attached to it. Whether a viewer loves the film or not, I think anyone who watches will at least admit to the child like emotions the film invoked. We’ve all been at the point where we can no longer relate to our first love the way we once did. Clinger displays this in a very abstract way but the film definitely served its purpose.
In Cinemas and VOD October 23.