The Clearing (2020) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: David Matalon
Producers: Zack Blinder, Jonathan Jay Piumelli, Mark Sayre
Writer: David Matalon
Date Released: June 4, 2020
Liam McIntyre as Tom
Aundrea Smith as Mira
Sydelle Noel as Naomi
Steven Swadling as The Ranger
Rating = 1.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
After his wife tells him to spend more time with their daughter, Tom (Liam McIntyre) takes his daughter Mira (Aundrea Smith) on a camping trip for the weekend. At the campsite, Tom and Mira make new friends after other campers invite them over for some food. What seems to be a memorable camping trip starts to go awry when the other campers become infected zombies who try to attack Tom. To make matters worse, Mira goes missing – and Tom must find a way to keep himself alive while trying to find his daughter in the process.
Any zombie movie is expected to have violence, action, and gore. This movie gives us the sight of a severed hand and a good amount of blood that gore lovers will likely appreciate. However, the gore is fairly tolerable and wouldn’t make you flinch as much as other gory movies.
The Grave Review
While zombies in other movies look creepy and spine-chilling, the zombies in The Clearing look like humans in Halloween makeup. To make it worse, if it were a costume contest, they wouldn’t even win. It appears that there was no passion at all in making the zombies look eerie, and it feels like they just put on such minimal effort on their look for the sake of having zombies in the film.
The movie only has some “oh no” moments, but they are not enough to get the audience on the edge of their seats. While the movie gives us a lot of action, it fails to bring tension and fear to the audience. Many horror or thriller movies that don’t have enough tension compensate by giving a good story, while other thriller movies that don’t have a deep and meaningful story compensate by keeping us on the edge of our seats. Unfortunately for The Clearing, it neither has a good story nor tension-filled scenes. It relies too much on pointless jump scares and restless camera movements that will only make you dizzy – not frightened.
The performances in the film are forgivable, but I believe they could have done better. Some scenes feel overdone, and other scenes feel half-baked. The movie also produces some questions, such as why Tom wouldn’t use his phone to call for help when there’s clearly phone signal in the area. It’s also a little unrealistic when he survives an explosion so intense.
It’s impressive how Tom does all that he can to keep himself alive. However, it would have been great to also see more of Mira’s journey while separated from her dad – especially since it’s hard to imagine how she would survive without weapons or a hiding area – compared to her dad who has a lot. Since most of the film shows us Tom’s journey in his trailer, the movie can make us feel numb and jaded.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Clearing (2020) one and a half graves out of five graves.
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