The Cleansing Hour is a horror film directed by Damien LeVeck. The plot focuses on a live stream exorcist Father Max (Ryan Guzman), who pretends to fight the forces of evil and rid the world of demonic forces. However, one night, on a stream, rather unexpectedly it all becomes far too real and Father Max comes face to face with the Devil himself.
This was an unexpected treat. I recently joined back up with Shudder to watch Anything For Jackson, and as I have it for a month I thought I would check out some of their other newer offerings as I already had the service earlier in the year. As such I stumbled across this film, I went in with low expectations of vapid teen focused fare and walked away genuinely surprised by one of the best twist endings I have ever seen in a horror film. The ending I am still thinking about now, well over a week after I watched the film.
I enjoyed how the demon fed of the secrets and lies, this resulted in slow drip-fed character development and an exploration of the character’s world and inner motivations. This made me care about the characters and made me invested in their story and survival. Likewise, I thought Guzman was a strong lead, the wayward priest who has fallen to the dark side but who still longs for a more noble cause is a role he plays well; in this he adds new emotional depths to the standard character architype and adds his own spin.
Overall, this is a horror gem that you can’t let pass you buy.
The character development
A novel new approach that felt, at least to me, very original
Reviewed by Luke