Saturday, July 02, 2022

11th Hour Cleaning

It would be really bad if Dylan took his work home with him. That will not be happening this night, unfortunately, because some evil force will not let him and his crew leave the murder scene they were hired to clean. We have seen a fair amount of crime scene cleaners get involved in crime, but this perp is way above everyone’s pay-grade in Ty Leisher’s 11th Hour Cleaning, which releases Tuesday on DVD and VOD.

Dylan could not turn down this job because of the lucrative rush charges, but he was warned going in it was going to be messy. The cops presume a man killed his family and then himself, but we know better. At this hour, Dylan could only summon his wife Rachel, her deadbeat parolee brother Marcus, and his very-ex-girlfriend Hannah. It is already super-awkward, even before the Norse demon starts toying with them.

Finding the presumed killer Stephen’s cellphone, the cleaning team watches some of the videos he recorded (which we see during the prologue). Stephen claims to have inadvertently raised a demon when he bought several pieces of an interlocking Norse-Celtic rune. Separately, they might still offer some protection, which presumably explains the weird glyphs he scrawled in each room.

The Norse backstory is intriguingly creepy, but Leisher and co-writer-co-producers Eric Brodeur and Ed Morrone only superficially skim over it, rather than dive into the evil mythology. They really just concentrate on the haunted hunting of the cleaners—and of course, most viewers will accurately assume they know exactly where all that is headed.

Granted, for a minimally budgeted horror film, the ensemble is solidly professional, especially Morrone as the disappointing brother-in-law and David Baez, as the late Stephen, appearing via cellphone and social media video. We do not see the demon for long, but when we do, it is pretty distinctive-looking. Cinematographer Vince Taroc and production designer Kim Brunner definitely help make the house look sinister too. There just isn’t enough to set
11th Hour apart.

It is all just okay, even admirably resourceful, but there is a lot of horror available out there. Frankly, many of us would rather hear more about the runes than watch someone getting dragged through the house by an invisible entity. Ultimately not recommended,
11th Hour Cleaning releases this coming Tuesday (7/5) on DVD and VOD.