Let’s see who is willing to eat a literal bowl of shit for more viewers on a livestream.
The Cleansing Hour is a new Shudder exclusive that proves the streaming service is making strong strides in content creation. In The Cleansing Hour, we follow father Max (Ryan Guzman), who performs staged exorcisms on his show (The Cleansing Hour) while his pal Drew (Kyle Gallner) runs the business side of a streaming business. However, thing get fucked when Drew’s fiancé Lane (Alix Angelis) fills in as the possessed victim and ends up getting for realz possessed. Uh oh, now how is our fraudulent priest going to get out of this one?
I can’t think of a recent film that has been so all over the place as far as quality goes. The opening of this movie is painfully bad. Max is an obnoxious dipshit who will physically make you ill to watch. He is so annoying and self-centered that we go beyond cliché into some sort of other grotesque categorization.
It sure seems that screenwriters have a bone to pick with streamers. The last two films we’ve watched dealing with streamers shows them as the worst people in the world. I mean, it isn’t enough that he’s faking exorcisms, let’s make him a vapid individual who ignores his friends and is just impossible to be around. Good writing!
Honestly, the first fifteen minutes are so bad that if I wasn’t reviewing the film, I might have turned it off. Once Lane gets possessed, the movie does turn it around for a bit.
The demon wants to torment Max and Drew and forces them to confess their sins on the livestream. Of course, tons of people begin to tune in as the rest of the cast is killed off (they only exist as cannon fodder). It becomes an interesting game of cat and mouse as they need to find a way to get the demon to say who it is so they can perform a real exorcism.
The demon steals the shows. Interesting effects and fantastic voice work make the demon an entertaining character to behold. We end up with a sharp increase of quality in the middle of the film. Unfortunately, the quality of them film then craters towards the end.
Is it worth watching? Maybe. There are some good ideas here that are sometimes well developed. The final product is such a mixed bag that I can’t give it a strong recommendation unless you’re a fiend for possession horror. Ultimately, this is one of Shudder’s weaker exclusives, but still shows they’re growing legs in creation.
If you have Shudder you can watch it for free. I wouldn’t spend money on this one.
Click on the next page for our deep dive of the ending.