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.


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