For those unaware, an urban legend surrounds Clinton Road and winds through the town of West Milford in Passaic County, New Jersey, it is 9.3 miles, (a road with no streetlights) stretch that dead ends at Upper Greenwood Lake, become infamous for its numerous stories of ghosts, strange creatures, witchcraft and Satanic ceremonies even events surround the Ku Klux Klan. The story written by Derek Ross Mackay, which blends paranormal activity and uses the common theme of inspired by real events, truly doubtful if these haunting aspects actually occurred. However, Mackay wasn’t the only screenwriter assigned on the project, Steve Stanulis did the story and Noel Ashman finished the revisions; while Stanulis and Richard Grieco (Minutes to Midnight ) co-directed the film of missing people and a haunting night of chills. The movie also served as for the first theatrical release from Midnight Releasing, the studio switching from primarily sending the DVD and now VOD market. One of their recent films Australiens (2014), had more overall appeal, therefore many curious as to why they choose this generic creation for their special 10-city theatrical (cities to be announced) and VOD release.
In approximately in the first quarter or so of the film the audience is hit with four cameos, all at a club owned by RJ (Ice-T (Bloodrunners )), and his business partner (Vincent Pastore (Black Wake )), while working in the Mayor (Bo Dietl) and an amusing scene of Eric Roberts (Bloodwork ) portraying himself. RJ, is dressed in a slick suit and an ex-cop (sound familiar) owner of a new NYC club who mentions his weird experiences on Clinton Road while at a table with Michael (Ace Young) firefighter whose wife Jess (Sarah Pribis) went missing on the road a year ago, early on the audience can’t believe his emotion as a grieving widower, he appears lost, as soon as the viewers will too. Ace is working on rebuilding his life and has a new girlfriend, Kayla (Lauren LaVera) Jess’ sister Isabella (Katie Morrison (Among US ) introduces Ace to a psychic named Begory (James DeBello (Cabin Fever ) who can see events from the past and communicate with the dead, thereby solving his wife’s disappearance. Herein, the plot shifts to heading down Clinton Road, along with other friends, such as Begory’s girlfriend Gianna (Erin O’Brien) and Mike’s skeptical buddy Tyler (Cody Calafiore), the group ventures into the woods and the psychic begins his seance and summon a gateway to the dead. Meanwhile Tyler heads back to the car and gets some strange interaction with Ranger (Carlos Leon), from there the film starts a pattern of clichés gone wild, from sex by a campfire, ominous music cues, roaming in the woods. Not to mention a strange mansion, drownings, and a freakish girl, none of it explained as to how or why it all occurs or solving their problems.
Sadly, the film suffers a multitude of issues, from the cheap visual effects, but it truly starts with the script, that translates to sluggish club scene, as well as the audio struggling throughout the scenes, keep your finger on the volume button. Once the movie moves into the second act, it becomes clear, that viewers are unsure who care for, as the characters all argue with each other. Hence these uninteresting individuals, go from dull scenes to clichéd moments, in a random pattern, showing supposedly scary elements but none of it connects together and leaves the viewers puzzled with everything. The filmmakers squander opportunities such as four clustered cameos in the first act and then carelessness toss away Leon’s contributions.
One usually finds some pleasure in urban legends, especially when regarding something in their home state, in this case, New Jersey, however this left me begging for the action to start, in a scant 77-minute production there’s not much to hope for in terms enjoyment or scares. The box art shows a claw and a group of backpackers, none of it exists in this movie. Oh, by the way, curious to know, just how successful at the box office, per Box Office Mojo, with a budget of $2.5 million, a return of $50,400 with limited release to 10-theaters, using distribution house Nocturnal Features (been 7-years since they last unleased a movie onto the public, which was Slaughter Creek).
- No One Ever Comes Back
IMDB Rating: 2.1/10
Baron’s Rating: 2.0/10