Horror may not necessarily known for its high-action series, but blending the two almost feels like it should be flawless - especially when it involves ridiculously fast, violent zombies! Zombies are zombies at the end of the day, but having them run and jump and be violent as hell makes them just that much more difficult to ward off and even kill. THE CLEARING - written and directed by David Matalon - takes a bad ass father and pins him up against these hyped up undead in a battle to escape their horde, find his daughter and bring her back to safety. It may not sound like anything all too crazy, but trust me, once the action starts popping off in The Clearing, the dust doesn't settle until the final moments of the movie. Calling it the John Wick of zombie movies may be just a little bit of a stretch, but not by much: this film is seriously packed with tons of hand-to-hand combat, guns, explosives, weapons, and of course, ingenuity. I'm admittedly not the biggest action movie fan, but The Clearing has enough horror elements mixed with action sequences to completely balance out the film. While the characters may not be anything special or have any reason to really be memorable once he credits roll, the product as a whole is pretty phenomenal and makes for a great watch if you're in the mood to see some zombies get beaten the fuck down. Again, the plot isn't anything too groundbreaking but it does enough to set up the pretty intense zombie scenes and action shots. If you're in the mood for a kickass zombie film where the ombies get their asses kicked, The Clearing now ranks very high on my list of recommendations!
The story to the movie is pretty basic and simple: Tom (Liam McIntyre) hasn't had the best relationship with his ten year old daughter Mira (Aundrea Smith), so after teasing her about not being a "real scout" and upsetting her, Tom's wife Naomi (Sydelle Noel) suggests he take Mira on a camping trip so the two can have a chance to bond. Both are not totally thrilled about the idea, but they load up their campers and head out to a remote location where there are other campers nearby that they can mingle with... until suddenly, Tom wakes up one morning and his daughter is gone. He heads out to the campsite to see if she's around or if anyone has seen her, and that's when the terror begins: the fellow campers have all become violent, bloodthirsty, quick-as-lightning undead who yearn to feed on flesh! He sees Mira, but yells for her to run - and escape the crazed campers! What follows is Tom's attempt at surviving each night while hoping to spot his innocent daughter out in the clearing, and getting her onto the camper so they can get home; but things are looking pretty grim. Will Mira and her father be reunited in life, or will they both meet their deaths at the hand of the vicious undead?! Find out in... THE CLEARING!
So for as forgettable as a character Tom is, he's actually a total badass in all of his fight scenes. He doesn't hesitate to use headbutts, knives, fists, guns, flare guns, whatever he needs to get the job done. And the poor dude does a lot of ass whoopin'. Outside of his fight scenes, there's not a whole lot to Tom besides his clever ways of utilizing his camper and the things inside of it to stay alive. And the zombies in the movie - the campers who have the eternal hunger - don't actually look all that vicious. They run - frighteningly fast - at the living, and they have some small facial features that are played up, but outside of their looks, you'll know you're staring at an undead when they come flying at you like a bat outta hell. And boy, do they pack a punch! If the thought of a John Wick-esque zombie film sounds good to you, you're going to love this movie, for sure. There really is so much to love - the film looks absolutely gorgeous, the cast are totally killer, and the shots are totally awesome; fast paced, brutal, and full of blood. There are a few small twists and turns the movie takes, but overall the film is honestly pretty predictable - but, with a movie like The Clearing, it isn't about the destination, it's about the journey... and this one's filled with some great gore! Like I said, if you're in the mood for a new zombie movie that doesn't have Return of the Living Dead style zombies, The Clearing is an absolute recommendation because of how well it's put together, how amazing it all looks, and all of the sick action that goes down. Oh, and the heartwarming father-daughter story, if you're into that sort of thing - muahaha! Check it out!!