Director – Damien LeVeck (Attraction, Asylum: Twisted Horror and Fantasy Tales)
Starring – Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door, Pretty Little Liars), Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body, A Haunting in Connecticut), and Alix Angelis (The Magnificent Seven, Bones)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3.5/5
Most of you are aware of the October horror binge I do every year. There is a Facebook group for it and we all post the different movies and discuss them that we’ve seen throughout the month. Several members of the group posted and discussed the 2019 horror film The Cleansing Hour. Honestly, the title and artwork made me think it was a cheap horror flick trying to capture the younger audience.
Since October other horror fans that I know have seen the movie on Shudder and told me how awesome it was. This made me the least bit curious to see it. When I received the press release that RLJE was releasing the film I reached out to see if I could get a review copy of it and they were kind enough to send one my way. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The movie follows Father Max and his team as they broadcast live exorcisms to his social media followers. However, the exorcisms are fake but one night they find themselves at the mercy of a real possessed woman and will have to do as their told in order to survive. **Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one a little skeptical but I was really surprised by it. The movie has a few really goofy moments but as the credits started to roll I found myself wanting more. It was well put together and written but there was a few moments that I could have lived without.
The acting in this one is fucking fantastic. I’m a fan of Kyle Gallner after the first time I had seen A Haunting in Connecticut. He was great in his role. When I saw him again in Jennifer’s Body, a very underrated horror comedy, I was really impressed then as well. I haven’t seen much from him in recent years but it was great seeing him make a return to the genre. He was a solid lead and did a fantastic job. Ryan Guzman was fantastic as well. In October I watched The Boy Next Door for the first time and he proved he had some serious acting chops. He not only went above my expectations here but he went beyond anything I could have expected. With that being said, Alix Angelis delivers the most intense performance of the film. Her character goes through literal hell and she does one hell of a job making that convincing. Anyone that shares the screen with her should consider themselves lucky. My only complaint is the voice the possessed makes. It reminds me of a very nasally woman trying to talk to a group of kids.
The story for this one is more of modern take on a possession tale. Working exorcism into a livestream on social media is a great way to make the story stand out but it could backfire and date the film making it somewhat cringy for viewers wanting to revisit it in a few. Regardless, I really loved the story. The pacing is solid and the action and horror evenly balances itself throughout the film.
Finally, the film is a bloody one. The body count is rather small but every kill is worth your time and even though some of the scenes don’t feature a death they still deliver some seriously brutal gags and blood. The practical and make-up effects look great. Some of the deaths had me rewinding so I could re-watch it so I could appreciate the practical effects. The visual effects also look well done. The film has one fiery death scene that really look good. Overall, The Cleansing Hour is a modern horror film that does it’s job. It’s well put together, has some seriously entertaining deaths, and the story works. I highly suggest giving this one a spin when you get the chance.