THE CLEARING on Hulu is a new thriller mystery series from Australia. It’s based on a true crime and has the most amazing cast full of Aussie stars. The mini-series is on Disney+ internationally. Read our The Clearing review here!

THE CLEARING is a new Hulu and Disney+ series in the mystery, thriller, and drama genres. The story is based on a true crime and we’re dealing with cults and kidnapping. Something that is apparent from the heartbreaking opening scene of episode 1.

WHICH CULT IS THE CLEARING SERIES BASED ON?

The Kindred cult in The Clearing mini-series is based on The Family cult. Right down to the blond-haired children. Read more about it in The Guardian article right here >

Overall, the cast is chockful of Australian stars, so you will recognize virtually all the lead actors. The mini-series has eight hour-long episodes and it premieres with the first two episodes.

Continue reading our The Clearing review below. Find it on Hulu / Disney+ from May 24, 2023.

The psychological scars of cults

The Clearing is described as “an emotional and psychological thriller that burrows under the skin and inside the mind, blurring the lines between past and present, reality and nightmare”. Well, you should definitely agree that this is a spot-on description. Even after watching just two episodes.

The plot of the series centers on two stories that are closely related. As this is also a mystery, I won’t go too much into this but rather focus on what is part of the official plot.

A local girl goes missing in a small and close-knit community in Australia. The news about this kidnapping triggers a woman’s memories from her childhood when she was a member of The Kindred. Behind this name, we find one of the few female-led cults in history.

Suddenly, she feels like it’s all coming back to her. Including the fear of being dragged back into the cult. After all, as a child, you have no real choice in the matter. And now she’s hearing that a child has been kidnapped and the circumstances are eerily familiar.

As a cult survivor, and now a mother herself, she feels both driven and forced to face the demons from her past. It’s the only way to stop the kidnapping and coercion of even more innocent children in the future.

The Clearing – Review | Hulu True Crime Series

The star-studded cast

As the cult survivor, Freya, we see Teresa Palmer who is one of those actors that has consistently been in horror movies. From the horror-comedy Warm Bodies (2013) to Lights Out (2016) and The Twin (2022), Teresa Palmer seems to always have a new genre production coming out.

In fact, her feature film debut was actually a movie that truly put Australian horror on the international map. The amazing and brutal Wolf Creek (2005). Okay, she was “Pool Party People”, but still, it all began there. The next year, 2006, she was also in The Grudge 2.

Of course, she’s no stranger to genre series either as she starred in A Discovery of Witches.

While she is the main protagonist of the storyline in The Clearing, there are other huge characters. Fortunately, the star-studded cast of this series means we get very familiar faces playing them as well.

Actors such as Miranda Otto, Guy Pearce, Kate Mulvany (Hunters), Erroll Shand (Deathgasm), Claudia Karvan (Daybreakers), and Xavier Samuel (The Loved Ones). To name just a few of the actors you’ll see in this mini-series.

Watch The Clearing on Hulu or Disney+ now!

Matt Cameron and Elise McCredie are the creators of The Clearing mini-series. Previously, both Cameron and McCredie were two of the creators of the Jack Irish series. That one has Guy Pearce in the title role, so getting him on board for this new series was an obvious choice.

The series is based on a book by J.P. Pomare which is in turn inspired by very real cults and the true crimes committed by them. Directors on the eight episodes of the mini-series include Gracie Otto and Jeffrey Walker.

And yes, the Otto name does mean Gracie is related to actor Miranda Otto. They are sisters. Gracie Otto (The Other Guy series) started directing short films in 2005, so she’s hardly a newcomer. Jeffrey Walker has directed various series – from Modern Family to Lambs of God.

The Clearing mini-series is on Disney+ internationally (the Star section) where it premieres on the same day. After premiering the first two episodes, weekly episodes will be released on Wednesdays. The series finale will be released on July 5, 2023.

The Clearing mini-series premieres on Hulu on May 24, 2023.

Our review is based on the first two episodes.

Details

Creators: Matt Cameron, Elise McCredie
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Miranda Otto, Guy Pearce, Hazem Shammas, Mark Coles Smith

Plot

When a local girl goes missing, it triggers a woman’s memories from her childhood as a member of The Kindred – one of the few female-led cults in history.

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