In the latest twist on the ‘real evil tests fraudulent paranormal investigators,’ Shudder brings The Cleansing Hour to Fantastic Fest. Damien LeVeck’s adapted this debut feature film from his short film of the same name. LeVeck’s story follows a pair of ‘entrepreneurs’ that run, what else, a popular webcast featuring “live exorcisms.” Of course, it’s all fake, duping audiences to the tune of millions of views.
The film stars Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door, Everybody Wants Some!), Kyle Gallner (American Sniper, The Haunting in Connecticut) as the show’s producers Max and Drew. But things go awry when Drew’s fiancé, played by Alix Angelis(The Magnificent Seven, Love’s Last Resort), becomes possessed by a real demon. The genuine terror proves popular, as the viewers begin to grow. Will they be exposed as frauds in front of their largest audience yet?
LeVeck previously directed a segment in the anthology Dark, Deadly & Dreadful. He’s also a career editor, having worked on dozens of TV reality shows. The aforementioned short film debuted at Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival in 2016 and won Best Horror Short at Shriekfest.
The Cleansing Hour made its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on Thursday, September 19, 2019.
Millennial entrepreneurs, Max (Guzman) and Drew (Gallner) run a popular webcast that streams “live exorcisms” that are, in fact, elaborately staged hoaxes watched by millions. Their fortunes take a turn when during one of their webcasts, Drew’s fiancée becomes mysteriously possessed by a real demon that takes the crew hostage. In front of a rapidly growing global audience, the demon subjects the crew to a series of violent and humiliating challenges that expose dark secrets they have been hiding from each other.