Best Horror Movies Of 2018: ‘The Cleanse’ Is The Horror-Comedy The Genre’s Been Missing

Sony Pictures

Just released in select theaters and on VOD is one of the best horror movies of 2018, The Cleanse. Thus far, 2018 has given us some horror movies that take themselves very seriously. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and often, it’s a great thing. But a solid tongue-in-cheek horror flick, while still enticing chills, can be a blast. The Cleanse provides a balanced basket of entertainment.

Making his feature-length debut, the movie is written and directed by Bobby Miller. The filmmaker is also an actor, and he has a reel that shows his knack for comedy. The Cleanse reveals that the artist is also skilled at creating first-rate horror movies. In addition, the film is perfectly cast: Johnny Galecki, Anna Friel, Oliver Platt, and Anjelica Huston.

Johnny Galecki portrays Paul, a heartbroken man who feels lost. After seeing a commercial for a program, he decides to go on a spiritual retreat. Paul joins the small group and takes interest in a fellow lost soul, Maggie (Anna Friel). Anjelica Huston and Oliver Platt portray the leaders of the retreat, Lily and Ken. The eccentric Lily instructs the group to consume a four-drink cleanse within one day. They’re told that it will help them rid their bodies of toxins, and as seen in the trailer below, that’s an understatement.

The concept that our body holds toxins from our past that can become physical creatures is fascinating. The Cleanse is filled with comical moments that are sandwiched between a bittersweet story. The monsters are both pathetically adorable and, at times, scary (the cute demon-like creatures make sure we don’t forget that this is a horror movie).

Galecki and Friel have delightful on-screen chemistry together, and their repartee is sharp. The way the pair reacts to their odd situation provides some laugh-out-loud moments. It’s very entertaining watching Paul and Maggie decide what to do with their new…pets?

Some compared this to Gremlins, and while there is a scene or two paying homage to the classic horror-comedy, this story has never been told. Fans have described The Cleanse in a variety of ways; some calling it a monster flick, others a dark comedy, and a fantasy-horror. And they’re all correct. The film shifts seamlessly between subgenres, scaring viewers in one scene while tugging at their hearts in the next. At 80-minutes long, this horror gem moves along at a nice pace building to a climax with a perfect ending.

In an era where many horror films simply try to shock or jump-scare you, Bobby Miller’s feature is a refreshing, and meaningful, horror-comedy that the genre has needed. With a stunning premise, solid acting, artistic delivery, and an overall essence of fun, The Cleanse is one of the top horror movies of 2018.