Synopsis: Childhood friends are trying to carve out their own piece of infamy online by staging exorcists and selling bunk merch. Wanting to increase their following, the two struggle to come up with the next big hit, that is until an actual demon appears before them. Now with time counting down, the friends must learn the name of the entity in order to cast it away and save their friend, all the while watching the crew around them die at the hands of the demon.

Underwhelming poster for The Cleansing Hour

Positives

  • Great use of single set for most of the movie
  • Strong use of practical effects
  • Performances are strong, albeit bordering on hammy at points
  • Intense environment
  • Great example of how to excel within a simple concept
  • Constant sense of mystery as the friends try to figure out the demons origins
  • Convincing act of possession, via actor Alix Angelis
  • Some great gross out sequences

Negatives

  • Horrible poster that is misleading
  • The ending goes to far, falls tragically flat
  • CGI can be ugly, contrasting with practical effects
  • Few scenes where the emotional acting really falls short mostly from Ryan Guzman

General Thoughts 

The Cleansing Hour has kind of been hiding among the popular titles over at Shudder, with my own introduction coming from a random post in a group and a night where I was undecided. In this regard, the film is a  true gem as its simple approach is highlighted by some great effects and an engaging story. Additionally, the film offers a competent mystery as the friends try to trick the demon into revealing its name, even in the face of extreme mental and physical torture. 

Sadly, the film falls short of greatness in stumbling into an awkward ending that goes on too long. To clarify, the actual end goal of the demon is terrifying and the concept is solid. However, the segment just goes on for too long going past the perfect point to have concluded the film. There is also a final revelation from ‘Father Max’ that feels more condemning than affirming. Given his struggle and attempt at redemption this just leaves a bad last impression.

Don’t trust a demon, even if it chocking your best friend

Final Verdict 

Cleansing hour would do better to have a more suiting poster, better marketing and a more abrupt ending. There is a degree of frustration to see something so great for the majority fall so horribly at the conclusion. However, the film is still an entertaining watch for the bulk of the film, and I would not deter anyone from checking it out because of the flat ending. It is definitely worth the trip and the conclusion may not offend others as strongly as it did myself.

Final Score

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