THE CLEANSING HOUR is a new Shudder horror movie. The very simple plot is executed wonderfully – and with immense brutality. It might start out a bit strange, but that’s part of the journey. A small and efficient cast makes for a real horror treat. Read our The Cleansing Hour review here!

THE CLEANSING HOUR is a new horror movie on Shudder. This one includes exorcism and demons, but also a whole lot of hot air. To begin with, anyway.

It has an extremely simple plot that might be reminiscent of a few other movies. Still, this new Shudder movie definitely manages to stand out on its own as well. 

Continue reading our The Cleansing Hour review below and check it out on Shudder.

Exorcisms, demons, and… live streaming?!

When The Cleansing Hour first begins, you’ll probably be a bit baffled and wonder what weird movie, you’ve just started watching. Do not worry and, for the love of horror, do not stop the movie. It’s just a simple way to ease you into the weird world of our main characters. 

If you’ve ever watched One Cut of the Dead, then you will know that beginnings can be deceiving. The Cleansing Hour isn’t ultimately as good as One Cut of the Dead turned out to be. However, it is still very entertaining and certainly deserving of our praise and recommendation.

If you like this, you should also enjoy: Our review of One Cut of the Dead here >

The simple plot in The Cleansing Hour features two friends who perform exorcisms as a form of entertainment via live streaming. Well, entertainment and they try to sell various merchandise. It is, after all, a business. Something most religions have become infested with; Making money for those in charge.

The Cleansing Hour – Shudder Review

A surprisingly awesome cast

The Cleansing Hour has a very small cast that I did not expect would work as well as it did. This extremely efficient cast makes for a real horror treat thanks to their performances. Always being tongue-in-cheek when called for and scared absolutely shitless, when this becomes appropriate.

And it most certainly does!

Ryan Guzman stars as Max, the priest performing the exorcisms. I’ve seen Ryan Guzman in quite a lot of movies and TV series by now, but here he really shines. You might recognize him from Pretty Little Liars, Heroes Reborn, or 9-1-1. Also, he starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in The Boy Next Door (2015).

As Max’s best friend, we have Drew, who is portrayed by Kyle Gallner. He should be a familiar face to most as well. He’s been in The Walking Dead and was in the movies The Master Cleanse (2016) and Ghosts of War (2020). One of his next movies is Scream 5 which should be filming right now. In The Cleansing Hour, he’s the stable guy running the live streaming business.

Finally, we have Alix Angelis as Lane. The girl who ends up being the subject of the next live streaming even by accident. Alix Angelis is great in this role and seems to just go with it 110% which is exactly what’s needed for exorcism scenes.

Watch The Cleansing Hour on Shudder

Damien LeVeck directed The Cleansing Hour and also co-wrote the screenplay with Aaron Horwitz, who came up with the story, to begin with. Damien LeVeck also directed the short film of the same name from 2016, which this feature film is based on. Since directing this movie, Damien LeVeck also directed a segment in the ASYLUM: Twisted Horror and Fantasy Tales anthology.

Aaron Horwitz obviously also wrote on the short film script, but other than working on this project, he’s been working on other aspects of film and series production. Most as a production assistant.

Hopefully, the release of The Cleansing Hour will get him writing more. If the story and screenplay for this movie is any indication of his talent, then he should definitely be focusing on writing more. Here’s hoping the movie will be a hit on Shudder, so we can hopefully expect more horror stories from Aaron Horwitz in the future.

The Cleansing Hour is out on Shudder from October 8, 2020. It will also be released on VOD, Digital HD, and DVD on January 19, 2021.


Director: Damien LeVeck
Writers: Damien LeVeck, Aaron Horwitz
Stars: Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner, Alix Angelis, Chris Lew Kum Hoi, Daniel Hoffmann-Gill, Emma Holzer, Joanna David


Max and Drew are millennial entrepreneurs who’ve made themselves famous with a webcast they created called “The Cleansing Hour,” which streams live exorcisms. The catch? Each ceremony is elaborately staged to look real in order to dupe their global audience—until now, when today’s subject, Drew’s fiancée Lane, is actually possessed by a demon.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard