The Cleansing Hour

It’s not easy being green.

‘Tis the season for everyone to watch a lot of disturbing horror movies. I wasn’t even planning to write about this one because I know my husband is going to cover it on his social media, and he will probably report that he liked the movie. I’m here reluctantly because I had nightmares after watching this and I feel like I need to confess.

That ties into the movie. See, these two lifelong friends have an online TV show where they fake exorcisms, and it’s very popular by my meager standards for online content but not popular enough for them. One of them is an attention whore who pretends to be a priest and the other one is greedy and pretends to be a nice guy, so they need more viewers. As it turns out, when you fake exorcisms you can attract the attention of real demons, and pretty soon the greedy guy’s girlfriend/makeup artist is possessed on camera and the crew is dying in nasty ways. The demon wants the fake priest to confess some things on air before it will let the possessee go, so that’s why I said I need to confess that I watched this. You can find it on Shudder if you want to see for yourself.

The Cleansing Hour is a pretty good horror movie in the sense that we took a chance on it and watched the whole thing without getting annoyed and switching to another movie, but I had a couple of issues with it. First, the big thing the fake priest is supposed to confess from way back in his childhood was clearly not his fault and shouldn’t even have been a secret. Secondly, this is just Ghostwatch on the brown acid. Which is fine, if you saw Ghostwatch and said you wanted to see more vomiting.

I was really excited to see that the Real Actor who shows up in this is Joanna David, who is on all the British TV programs including Inspector Morse and A Touch of Frost. I confess that my husband will be comedically irritated that I not only reviewed the same movie he did but also that I had the cheek to bring up Inspector Morse while doing it. That’s nothing. Yesterday I wore a shirt with Inspector Morse’s big vexed face on it because I was going to watch the new episode of Midsomer Murders starring Kevin Whately who was on Morse as Lewis and also on Lewis as Lewis. Lewis.

But I said I had nightmares, so I guess I should tell you about it. The biggest hurricane in the world was headed right for us, I had a lovely indoor pool filled with cute little turtles but it got invaded by two raccoons, and all these random people were walking around in my house, which was more of a rotting grey wooden shed with multiple floors. Then I met up to watch movies with an online friend I’ve always wanted to hang out with only to realize in the middle of our quite long and not separated by six feet conversation while watching some fucked up Japanese horror movie that neither of us were wearing masks and I didn’t know their vaccination status. And then I realized I wasn’t quite sure who this person was. Probably an amalgam of several people. That was the worst part, the internet going wrong when it comes to real life, just like in the web show’s evil influence in The Cleansing Hour. *

But back to my British programmes that I love to watch, almost all of which are murder mysteries: have you ever noticed that TV plots (or in the case of what I’m actually reviewing, movies) that include social media stars make these people into odious ruiners of lives who deserve to be walking on broken glass while nude? When really, although many YouTube stars are numpties in the “hey guys smash that like button” kind of way, the truth is that many of them are just creative people who have managed to circumvent and even subvert traditional television and all its nepotistic ways. There are several YouTube channels I couldn’t get through the week without. Which is no doubt making establishment type producers and writers who can’t decide which JagUar to drive today ANGERY, and so we get these shows and films that depict YouTube channels as bringing about the end of the world, or at least the end of the vacation or the village fete.

Finally, have you noticed that the colour palette of all modern horror movies is dominated by a horrible drab olive green? I miss movies of the 70s that had that gold haze, or the early 80s when many of them looked kind of blue. Day for night shots would be nice. This thing with the matte neutral shades needs to go and sin no more.

Now that I’ve looked up the filmography of Joanna David, I’m going to watch A Touch of Frost: Funtime For Swingers. A cracking murder show that’s sure to leave me feeling tickety boo.

*Actually, I have dreamt almost every night since The Event started that I’m in the middle of a nice interaction or outing and suddenly realize I’m not wearing a mask. I am vaccinated of course, but also probably suffering from PTSD from getting pneumonia and going into the hospital, where the IV antibiotics caused what has turned out to be permanent digestive aggro, in the middle of my chemo course, and a full 18 months before The Event.