Ginger Nuts of Horror
Some roads should be left untravelled.
The Lake on Clinton Road is the debut feature film by writer / director DeShon Hardy. For many of the actors / actresses this is either their first feature film or first acting gig whatsoever. Leah Jones, who plays the main character, Jillian, does a good job despite her limited experience. Overall the acting is a mixed bag. Some of them are horrible, some mediocre. Sadly, the two best performances are in the intro only.
They label this movie as being based on a True Story. Actually, Clinton Rd. has numerous urban legends surrounding it. The writer has incorporated a few of them into the movie, albeit in a disjointed manner that doesn’t really make any sense unless you go read up on them, however, the underlying story only comes close to having anything to do with but one of them in particular.
The movie truly has a strong intro, showing an interrogation of some feral, unkempt woman who, according to the cops, drowned her son in a lake. Not long into the interview she totally freaks out and starts struggling with the officers while screaming about the lake trying to take her daughter and her trying to kill her son but he’s not dead. It cuts to the main character Jillian and her boyfriend, Alex, watching the video on line and talking about it. It becomes obvious that the event happened at a lake on Clinton Road and Alex wants to go stay at a vacation house in that area. (Great idea, Alex.) Jillian agrees to it and we’re off and running. They hook up with their friends, two more couples, Mark and Stacy and Jaime and Amber, and then they all hit the road.
Party time kicks off in the SUV on the way there with music, drinking, ass shaking and ass slapping, etc. etc. Once they arrive at the house on Clinton Road they locate the lake, build a bonfire and party some more. Nothing is unusual until Jillian goes in the lake. She feels like something is grabbing her legs and immediately comes out but then starts to feel ill. By the next morning she is hearing strange noises and exploring the basement. She finds something perplexing that disturbs her. Before long strange things start to happen to the others and Jillian’s friends start to disappear one by one.
There are some crazy and really good FX moments and the cinematography is fairly well done overall, but the movie, for only being 71 minutes long has way too much filler. Scenes of sensuality and quick peaks of the ladies’ skin that did nothing to actually advance the story. It was almost as if these were supposed to hold the audience’s attention in between the FX moments. Well, it didn’t. Near the end I actually fell asleep. It just didn’t grip me at all. I did back it up and finish watching it.
The one thing that I did think was well done besides the intro was the final reveal and resolution. I thought both of those parts were written well. Most of it in between was just mediocre or, one scene in particular, made no sense at all as far as how real people would respond to certain actions. Lastly, I hate it when writers / directors throw in some cheap final screen shot just for a jump that basically undermines the ending they just crafted. Never makes sense to me. In addition, this movie also has a whole 6 minute video at the end of the credits, I repeat, 6 minutes that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie story itself. It’s bogus hand cam footage of four kids in a car driving down Clinton Rd. and catching one of the typical urban legends in action. I think they want you to think it’s real, but the four kids’ names are actually at the end of the cast list.
To wrap up, some people may find the movie good just for the FX and flesh. But that wasn’t enough for me. Hopefully Mr. Hardy can step up his writing and directing game as he progresses and gains more experience.