The Cleansing Hour (2019) Shudder Movie Review

Director: Damien LeVeck

Writer: Damien LeVeck, Aaron Horwitz (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner, Alix Angelis, Chris Lew Kum hoi, Daniel Hoffmann-Gill, Emma Holzer

Plot: Another successful “exorcism” streamed online – or so it seems. Can the “exorcist”, producer and their team bring the ratings up? Ratings skyrocket, when a real demon gets involved.

Tagline – The perfect internet hoax just went to hell

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Cleansing Hour starts as we see the weekly fake exorcism streaming show, The Cleansing Hour, hosted by Max (Guzman) who pretends to be a priest, produced by his best friend Drew (Gallner), they have a steady audience to their show.

When the crew look to record the latest show, Drew needs to talk his girlfriend Lane (Angelis) to be the ‘victim’ the show takes a very dramatic twist, when Lane gets possessed by a real demon, giving the show the highest numbers since they began, exposing Max as a fraud.

Thoughts on The Cleansing Hour

Characters – Max is the priest that takes centre stage on the show, he is the face that sells the show and he is always looking for an improvement in rating, in his latest show, he will learn the truth about needing to give up his secrets when he comes face to face with a real demon. Drew is the producer of the show that has always looked to find ways to solve the problems they are facing, he does the research to make each episode different and will learn more about Max, even though they grew up together. Lane is the aspiring actress fiancée of Drew’s who reluctantly agrees to play the victim in the latest show, only to find herself being taken over by the demon.

PerformancesThe performances from the main cast are mixed with Ryan Guzman being the sleazy host of the show, Kyle Gallner is strong for the most part, while Alix Angelis is the possessed role works well throughout the film, showing the human side when needed, alongside the demonic role. Everyone else seems to struggle to make an impact.

StoryThe story here follows a fake exorcism show that discovers they are facing a real demon on their latest show, one that will force them to reveal their biggest secrets. This story does bring us a new twist to the exorcism sub-genre of horror, by mixing an element of what could have been found footage, with the team faking the exorcisms and getting basic ratings, when they must deal with the real demon and haven’t got the experience to deal with it. When it comes to the exorcism side of everything, it goes from tame to the extreme quickly, while it does get saved with an explosive conclusion.

HorrorThe horror in this film does focus on the exorcism side of things, which has extreme deaths, but doesn’t have anything that is truly scary.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the sound stage, which will keep everything contained, the only time we leave here is when we get to see the people watching from around the world.

Special EffectsTh effects are a true mixed bag, with the opening shocking moment looking very CGI heavy, but when we get to the big reveal, it looks wonderful to watch.

Scene of the Movie – The final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The crew being so disposable.

Final Thoughts This is a nice spin on the exorcism story, which blends found footage concept, without being a found footage film, leading up to a big conclusion that makes the film feel bigger than it deserves to be.


How to Build a Girl, comes to Digital Platforms 26th October

Directed by Coky Giedroyć


  Written by Caitlin Moran


Produced by Alison Owen and Debra Hayward 

Starring Beanie Feldstein, Alfie Allen, Paddy Considine, Chris O’Dowd, Emma Thompson, Sarah Solemani, Laurie Kynaston, Joanna Scanlan, Arinzé Kene, Frank Dillane, Tadhg Murphy and Ziggy Heath





It’s 1993, and there’s only one way for a curvy, bright, funny, working-class sixteen year old to break out of her tiny, crowded house in Wolverhampton, and go on the somehow noble sex-quest she desires – to reinvent herself as swashbuckling, top-hat-wearing rock critic Dolly Wilde, and explode all over London. The only question is – was Dolly Wilde the right girl to build?


HOW TO BUILD A GIRL stars an array of talent, featuring Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Paddy Considine (Journeyman), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Emma Thompson (Sense & Sensibility), Sarah Solemani (Bridget Jones’s Baby), Laurie Kynaston (England Is Mine), Joanna Scanlan (Pin Cushion), Arinzé Kene (The Pass), Frank Dillane (In the Heart of the Sea), Tadhg Murphy (Guerrilla) and Ziggy Heath (Spies of Warsaw).


The film is directed by British director Coky Giedroyć (Harlots), written by Caitlin Moran, based on her beloved number one Sunday Times bestseller of the same name, and produced by Alison Owen (Me Before You) and Debra Hayward (Bridget Jones’s Baby).

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – G – Gnaw (2017) Movie Review

Director: Haylar Garcia

Writer: Jim Brennan, Haylar Garcia, Kathryn Gould (Screenplay)

Starring: Penelope Mitchell, Kyle Gass, Chris Johnson, Sally Kirkland, Graham Emmons, Susan Bellone, Erin Graham

Plot: Jennifer Conrad is a small-town girl starting over in the big city. Fleeing an abusive relationship, all she wants is a chance to begin again. But it is hard to start over when something is eating you while you sleep . . . one painful bite at a time.

Tagline – Eat…Prey…Love

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Build, Great Ending

Story: Gnaw starts when Jennifer Conrad (Mitchell) escapes from her abusive husband, to start a new life in a small apartment complex, where the handyman Terry (Gass) takes her under his wing, trying to make her feel welcome. When one of the neighbours spends hours crying at night before killing herself.

Jennifer must deal with her ex-husband Boyd (Johnson) finding her, just as she gets a pet turtle and more painfully an uncomfortable bite, which just seems to keep getting worse.

Thoughts on Gnaw

Characters – Jennifer has been struck in an abusive relationship which she has gotten the courage to leave behind her, this does leave her in a small apartment complex where she must try to start a new life. Things seem positive, when she bumps into an old friend who wants to help her get a job, only things start going badly after her neighbour’s suicide and bites which appear on her skin, with no explanation behind them. She must face her own past, deal with a problem before moving on with her own life. Terry Lumley is the friendly handyman that offers Jennifer all the support while staying the apartments. Boyd is the abusive ex-husband and police officers, making it harder for Jennifer to escape him, he has always put her down and wants to keep his control over her. Claudette runs the apartments she doesn’t get on with anybody, just wants to see money coming in.

PerformancesPenelope Mitchell in the leading role is the star of the show here, being able to show the pain she is running from and the hope she is fighting for. Kyle Gass is the next best thing in the film, where he does bring moments of laughter in his kind natured character. The rest of the cast do a solid job without being tested with what they have to do.

StoryThe story here follows an abuse victim that is trying to escape her own life’s pain only to find herself dealing with the latest problem which has come her way in the form of a bite. This story does manage to show us how difficult getting out of an abusive relationship can be for the victim, where starting a new life can take more time than people believe, this side of the story is the strongest part because it shows the real horrors of Jennifer’s life. When we get into the mystery about the bites, it does go on the routine way, until we learn the truth, which makes both sides of the story get connected nicely.

HorrorThe horror side of the film mixes the reality of being abused by a partner with the unknown of mysterious bites being found on the body and why they are there.

SettingsMost of the film remains in the hotel complex which is a place where people go to start life again.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects we see what happens with the bites getting worse and the revel of what is behind it.

Scene of the Movie – The showdown in the room.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The job interview.

Final Thoughts This is a nice slow build horror that tries to reflect the ideas of the horror being in real life rather than needing supernatural elements.

Overall: Horror that tests the reality of life.