The Cleaning Lady (2018) Poster

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8/10
SUBTLE AND INTENSE
kirbylee70-599-52617925 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
So often these days major horror films are given vast amounts of attention, spurred on by critics who rarely see horror films and are stunned by what they see. But for fans of horror most of those films are nowhere near the terrifying experience or enjoyable night at the movies that these critics think they are. True horror fans find the movies that stir them more on the fringes than in the mainstream press reviews. Those films are often small on budget and huge on fright, often far more interesting and original than those major releases. Like THE CLEANING LADY.

Alice (Alexis Kendra) is a young woman on her own with an addiction to love. Not intimacy or sex but love. She currently finds herself in an affair with a married man who continues to promise he will leave his wife for her one day. Attending group therapy for her addiction complete with a sponsor she swears off the relationship and plans to stick to her no contact promise. Working out of her home as a high end and in demand beautician Alice can afford to live well and on her own. She has no monetary need for Michael, the man she's drawn to.

When her drain clogs Alice contacts her landlord about the problem. One day she comes home to find Shelly (Rachel Alig), a severely burn scarred young woman, taking care of the problem. Needing someone to clean her apartment she offers to pay Shelly in cash to avoid the landlord knowing to do so and Shelly accepts. From this an infatuation develops.

We already know something is up with Shelly having watched her in the opening moments of the film toss three live rats into a blender before serving them up to someone hidden in a trailer. But none of that is brought up until later in the film. For now she's content to find a sort of friendship with Alice. Alice is just being kind to someone less fortunate but Shelly thinks of it as something more.

Things become even stranger when one night Shelly creeps in and chloroforms Alice. While out she makes a mold of Alice' face and then replicates it to create a latex mask that she wears when on her own, all without Alice having knowledge of what took place. Soaking in Alice' tub when she's away, dressing in her clothes, this brings to mind films like SINGLE WHITE FEMALE with a bit of a twist.

As things progress we learn Shelly's back story. Perhaps with one of the worst mothers in history we watch as her mother pimps her out at a young age. We see the problems the two face. And eventually we learn how Shelly was scarred. But the scars she has inside rival those on the surface and just how those will affect what takes place makes for the fright found in this film.

Well shot, well directed, well written and performed by actresses who may not be what Hollywood considers A-listers but who should be, this movie will hold your interest from start to finish. It takes the time to develop the story that is involved here, both from the viewpoint of Alice and her needs and those of Shelly and hers. The combining of these stories that wrap around one another until the final story becomes one is will done.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I put this one in to watch. After viewing it and while I enjoyed it I wasn't even sure if I'd ever watch it again. But the more time that passes since that first viewing the more I think I will. For me it was that good. Repeat viewings are something that help me judge how good a movie is. So take my word on it, this one is a solid horror film that will have you guessing and watching from start to finish.
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5/10
Obsession
kosmasp11 March 2019
Now this is not the first movie and it won't be the last where Obsession gets the better of people. And while it does have some twists and turns that are, not unique, but still mesmerizing and tension filled, it is not really the best or prime example in that category. On the other hand it is also not the worst of movies I've seen on that topic.

The acting is decent overall, decisions may feel wrong (they are), especially from our main character, but nothing that should make you too angry about the whole movie. Always considering the circumstances and the fact this is a movie and that it has to have some force and something that drives the whole thing forward. If thrillers are generally your thing, that will help with your viewing pleasure - if not you may not really be into this at all
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10/10
Great Psychological Thriller
initium-6001919 March 2019
I love independent film projects like this. Raw talent. No studio over-production. No CGI. Just actors on location pouring their hearts out.

This is a well written, well acted movie. It is definitely more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie. It is intelligent, so don't buy/rent it if you are looking for a slasher film. No spoiler alert - but a great ending!
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6/10
Addicted to Love
nogodnomasters12 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Alice (Alexis Kendra) is a beautiful successful woman who has it all, including another woman's husband (Stelio Savante). She wants to stop the relationship, but Michael is persistent. Alice meets Shelly (Rachel Alig) the disfigured building maintenance person and hires her to do some cleaning. Alice confides in Shelly and we see Shelly's childhood in a flashback. She was pimped out by her mother as a teen. Shelly decides she is going to "clean" Alice's life.

Interesting psycho-thriller. I am not sure where Shelly got the hydrofluoric acid. It is generally controlled and only licensed labs can get it. It is used in etching metal, i.e. do not store in a metal can like it is in the film.

Guide: F-word. Sex. No Nudity.
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8/10
Shelly is a new horror Icon
geeklegionofdoom3 June 2019
A movie that plays like a genre mixing slasher meets thriller meets drama movie What works?
  • Great performances from our two main actresses Alexis Kendra makes what could have been an unlikable vapid character someone we care for . While Alig gives us a creepy and subdued performance but makes us feel sympathy for her character . Even small roles like the friend & the wife are great
  • The writing is top notch. Great character work. Alice isn't wholesomely altruistic. She is flawed , she does things for selfish reasons. We even understand her modern day first world problems . But it's a realistic character who we can relate and see things her way. I love the fact i didn't really know what Shelly's motives were and felt like she was genuinely unpredictable , does she what to hurt Alice? Really befriend her? Take advantage of her ?or something else? It's all revealed at the end , and has some great foreshadowing. Because we really don't know what Shelly wants out of all things, the story is an intriguing one .
  • Shocking with out being explicit . Some squirm worth moments
  • Great ending which gives you just enough answers, but leaves the door open
what doesn't work so well..
  • Last act of the movie more or less turns into a turns into a standard horror movie
  • Young Shelly actor wasn't brilliant ( but still not a bad performance )
  • There are some 'movie conveniences' like Shelly driving away for no apparent reason to allow a plot point to happen
  • Shelly has super human strength in one scene for some reason.


Flaws are relativity minor by comparison. A great horror movie , a great new horror character . Fab writing and acting
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7/10
Not amazing but definitely worth a watch.
matthewsearby19 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
First id say ignore the bad reviews. I expected this film to be dreadful and was pleasantly surprised. Its not amazing but it was quite good. The acting despite certain people comments is good for the 2 main people in the movie. Others not so much. I thought the girl who played shelly was great. When it got to the end i too was like everybody else and was like "wait what?" Did it really just end so poorly. However. I watched the end again and realised what actually happened. The ending isnt great but its not as bad as people make out.

Spoilers ahead!

Throughout the film there was some great shots i thought of shelly as a child looking through the window of her dolls house. Which to me represented this perfect ideal life that she so longed for. Rather than the horror her mother made her endure. The music and the shots were great in these moments. And then at the end of the film. We see the main actress whos name ive forgotten. Chained up in a nice bedroom with a pretty dress on. Because " now shes perfect" and shelly looking through the window of the house as she once did as a child with her doll house. She'd effectively made a real life doll for her real life doll house. Definitely a good psychological thriller. And worth a watch for horror buffs like myself.
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8/10
Athmospheric Chiller
wolfgangfrosch6 September 2018
Just saw the film at Fantasy Filmfest.

The pace is very good, it gives the characters time to develop. I don't want to spoil so I cannot tell too much. In the 3rd act the film get's pretty violent, but not just to shock people.

After all I really enjoyed the movie and can recommend it.
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6/10
A sympathetic antagonist
kelleypanicfan7 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers ahead! TW: sexual assault/child abuse

It's hard to root against the main antagonist (Shelly) once you learn her tragic backstory and what's motivating her to do the heinous things she does. She's a survivor of sexual assault and does what she has to to get out of the horrible situation and condition she's living in with her mother. I am in no way justifying her actions throughout the film BUT I can see why she does what she does.

I don't think it's fair to take a character who has survived and gone through such trauma and turn them into a villain. I mean for Christ's sake the reason she got burned was an act of self defense against her perpetrator!! Overall I enjoyed the film and though the ending wasn't as satisfying as I liked you gotta love the parallels of her looking through her doll house at her perfect blonde Barbie to the final scene of our now "perfect" blonde lead trapped in her new "doll house"

Is this a happy ending for the audience and Alice? I'd say no but I mean we got three missing persons and I'm not sure how good Shelly is at hiding her tracks so my ideal ending is that Alice is saved and Shelly can get the help she needs.
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7/10
Pretty good
andrewmcl83-170-7644162 September 2020
Not the best film ever and had some kinda pointless characters but overall its definitely worth your time. Its got good acting from the female leads and the protagonist is GORGEOUS. I wish i could give 6.5 stars but i went with 7 bc I feel its a little under rated on here. It is definitely not your typical stalker/obsession movie, its a slow burn but it is a burn that keeps your interest which is more than i can say for most "horror films" nowadays. Also some real nasty scenes.
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6/10
Better than I Expected
davidjkobb26 August 2020
This is the tale of a two troubled women, one addicted to love and one with darker troubles. As they start a stuttering friendship, dark secrets begin to emerge.

Granted I went into watching this with very low expectations. That said, this movie was a pleasant surprise. The plotting was a thin, but not terrible. The acting was fine bordering on good from the two leads. Competent cinematography and directing.
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9/10
Disturbing story
DarkLady210 September 2018
Had the opportuniy to view this movie at MOTELX2018 in Lisbon and it was a great surprise. A good story with the right pace, great characters development and good cinematography. Tension is greatly built during the first half of the movie and the second half delivers this gory, violent and upseting action with a very interesting finale.

I'm pretty glad I managed to watch this great movie, I was really missing something like this. Jon Knautz already directed the movie The Shrine which was great, hope he can keep up the good work.
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2/10
Poor ending, poor movie.
davkenreal17 June 2019
If you're intelligent enough to write a script then at least figure out an ending for it. Just stopping the movie in its tracks spoils what would have been a great movie. Now the whole thing seems like burnt food. Nonsense!
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4/10
Awesome film until the last 10 minutes
capricorn406 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I was really enjoying this film until the last 10 minutes. Characters were fleshed out and believable. I did have a problem with Shelly's motivation to help Alice with her "boyfriend problem" but other than that, a solid story-line.

My reason for such a low rating?

The huge "WTF" ending or rather, no ending at all. So, what, Alice is chained there for the rest of her life? Michael and his wife are just killed and nothing developed from that? Getting back to the wife, She's not really introduced until the third act. We spend time with her tracking down Alice and following her to Shelly's place. She arrives, cut's Alice loose, get killed and Alice is recaptured and the film ends! What the hell was the point???? Why even have the wife there in the first place?

I felt as though there have been 10 minutes cut from the end.
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7/10
Reminds me of May and Pet
erikajpeg18 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING: SPOILERS

I love these types of movies and I think this movie deserves a lot better rating than 5 stars. I will say upon watching the trailer, I thought the plot to be something completely other than what it was, but I still enjoyed the direction the movie went. If you have seen the movie May or Pet, this movie is of a similar genre. I will say I was kind of disappointed at the end of the movie in the way that I wanted more! I want to know where Alice was locked up and how much time had passed and was anyone looking for her? Did Shelly fake Alice's disappearance? I also wish we had seen when Shelly first shackled you her mother in the cargo container. There were just a lot of unanswered questions for me. But again this movie was awesome and you should definitely check it out!
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2/10
Overrated...
baldy_man5 June 2019
After reading several reviews on this movie, quite positive reviews too, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Well what can I say other than, why? It's a pointless, dreary, shambles of a movie. Poor acting, poor script, just generally quite rubbish. I'm aware we all have different takes, different tastes, but this is one to avoid.....
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5/10
Decent
Foutainoflife9 June 2019
This was not the film I expected but I liked it. It's low budget but done really well. The actors were decent and the story was different. My only complaint is that the pace is slow. Glad I watched it.
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9/10
A Must-See for Horror Movie Fans
politehere6 June 2019
As a horror movie fan, I watch quite a lot of horror movies. Considering the fact that most horror movies are weak, boring, repetitive, and have no entertainment value, I have to say this movie is well worth watching. The plot is original, albeit unbelievably sick and twisted, it has a nice build-up and a disturbing climax, the cinematography and music score are great, the characters are likable, and it has a high entertainment value. It has no jump scares, but it is quite disturbing, so if you have a weak stomach, please stay away for your own good, as watching this movie might have long-lasting psychological effects (in a bad way). It has child abuse (sadly), graphic murder scenes, excruciating torture, inhuman treatment of human beings (much worse than animals, no one should have to go through that, no mater how evil they are), and one of the main characters is very hard to look at, given her face has been badly damaged. All in all, this is a very strong movie and definitely not for the squeamish. I would've liked the ending to be just a little more elaborate. The fate of the main character is easy to imagine, but I would've liked the movie to have confirmed my guess. It was left to the audience's imagination. -1 for that. Everything else was perfect. I am very hard to please, and would not give a high score to just any movie.

9/10, and if you think you can take it, strongly recommended.
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5/10
Refreshingly vile. Warning: Spoilers
I find it difficult to make it through the first 5 minutes of most contemporary horror films, but this film kept my interest all the way to the end. Shelly's origin story could've been a standalone film; in fact I think it would've been beneficial to the story to split this movie into two films. Stretching out the atrocities of her childhood into a feature length movie would have been a tough sell, however it would've given us a story with enough gusto to really stand out and be something special. I think this film wants to be unique, and parts of it are refreshingly vile, however reducing Shelly into a typical slasher with no real motive other than envy or jealousy just left me feeling disappointed. Yeah, I get that she's traumatized from her past. Lashing out at the only person who showed her any kindness in her life didn't make a lot of sense. If she would've targeted more deserving people like her mother it would've been much more satisfying - at least it would've shown a clear motive for her rage. I like the ending, I thought it was a good callback to her childhood. I think Shelly's origin and subsequent imprisoning of her mother would've made a much more disturbing film and the sequel could've been her obsession with Alice and her imprisoning in the end. Everyone loves a franchise.
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4/10
Unreasonable on many aspects
ks-6050012 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
1. Someone can get into your place easily, there's no lock or key in the story?? 2. Can let someone into your life and share to a stranger so transparently? I thought there's a sharing group, wasn't that enough? 3. Spoiled face is good at chemistry but no explain at all. 4. Spoiled face painful past experience didn't explain her behavior on the mistress 5. Dress up and chain the mistress, to make her do what her mum did on her? Lame lame lame
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5/10
Just a tad more creepier than a Lifetime thriller but predictable all the same.
tkaine35 June 2019
"The Cleaning Lady" 🌠🌠🌠🌠🌠 This film is a very average horror flick. One of the other reviews said it was disgusting so I couldn't wait to check it out, unfortunately that was an obnoxious and baseless mischaracterization. Albeit the quality was better than a made for TV movie but it wasn't even explicit enough to be rated PG-13. The mystery vanishes after the first 20 minutes and it's just not original enough to garner any sort of praise. The acting was ok & the film is well paced so it does keep your attention but it doesn't push the envelope at all, showcasing various awkward scenes that telegraph exactly where this film was headed. All in all not the worst but nothing amazing, super creepy or grotesque. A time killer at best.
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5/10
FUN, DISTURBING.
ferdmalenfant31 May 2019
Not a bad flick. The editing was all over the place at times but it's definitely worth a watch.
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2/10
Pretty bad
mioutlaw28 June 2019
I kept hoping it would get better. Overall it's not a good movie. I thought the ending would take a twist, but no.
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4/10
Well .... good but bad at the same time
anaskhoder3 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Good written story but the way the script and/or director ended the movie didn't make sense to me. It ended that lady chained to her bed. I really want to understand what the law scene in the movie wanted to say to the viewer.
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4/10
Not for scientists
cleaning_lady_1_fan20 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Hydroflouric acid cannot be stored in a soup can sealed with saran wrap. Hydrofluoric acid must be stored in a tightly closed container made from either polyethylene, fluorocarbon, or lead. Also the synopsis said Alice had a handsome boyfriend. He was an ugly man with ill fitting dress shirts. Will definitely not watch a 2nd time.
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1/10
Ahhhhhh what could gave been... but another HORRIBLE ending!!!
joiningjt9 December 2020
If you dont mind a decent movie that has a horrible ending and explains nothing about what you just watched then here you go. Could have been a decent movie but it ended and I have no idea why what happened happened the way it did. Very frustrating when it could have been a 7. Oh well next bad horror / thriller movie with a bad ending coming up I'm sure!!
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