When i was a young man, i remember my first appartment. If someone would come home to me, i probably have not cleaned the floors for 7 weeks, or 8 weeks, since i did not care that much about mopping the floor. I was too busy doing other things, especially planning my next visit to Gothenburgh ( spend a lot of time here with close friends, both for buying DVD´s and going out to pubs, strip clubs at some occations. Cleaning was never one of those things i considered to be that important, but as you get older you understand why it is nice to keep a place good looking. Even if i don´t clean as much as i probably should, i would still say i have improved within the last 10 years. What helped me become inspired ? Well let´s just say that watching How Clean Is Your House ? on TV, did wake me up a bit with expert cleaners Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie. I suppose i was shocked how some people have not cleaned their home for 20 years, and all the filth that could be found underneath all the garbage. When you think abou cleaning, you probably don´t think about many movies. But i actually thought about one classic from the year of 2001. The film is called Session 9, and is a horror film from director Brad Anderson. The film tells the story of an asbestos abatment crew who is cleaning up an old abandoned mental asylum. Session 9 is a creepy film, especially when Mike ( played by actor Stephen Gevedon ) finds a box of tapes, containing sessions with a patient named Mary Hobbes. Of course this film is not about cleaning, more about the secrets of what happened here at the abandoned mental asylum. But the cleaning the building part, removing asbestos, gives this film a different approach than most horror films. And i enjoy the cast with actors David Caruso, Josh Lucas, Paul Guilfoyle and many others. Speaking about cleaning, i got a chance to see a new independent film on Blu Ray called The Cleaning Lady. Is this a nice choice for the summer barbecue with family, or is this a film you might as well avoid ?
Alice ( Alex Kendra ) is a single woman, working as a beutician. She is having an affair with married man Michael ( Stelio Savante ) who is planning to take her on vacation to Italy. Alice have a problem with her bathroom, and call for help. Suddenly, a woman is seen in her appartment named Shelly ( Rachel Alig ), a woman with a damaged face. Alice is pleased with her job, fixing her pipe and ask if she can imagine being paid to clean her home. Shelly accept the offer, and she feels that Alice accept her facial look. But as time goes by, it becomes clear that Shelly may not be the woman that Alice thought she was.
My first thought about this film, is that this is a clever mix up of up classic films such as Stephen King´s Carrie and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Not copying these films in any way, but you get a sense that there is something wrong with Shelly, just like you felt watching Rebecca De Mornay in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. When you see Shelly´s childhood, you understand why she became the woman she is today, with her horrible Mother. This is also where you get a sense of that Carrie might have been an inspiration for director Jon Knautz. The Cleaning Lady actually feels different from most independent horror / thrillers, since this film have a classic approach about disturbing personalities that we have seen in the past. I came to think about the Michael Douglas classic Fatal Attraction. Let´s talk about the cast. Actress Alexis Kendra ( who you might remember from horror film Hatchet II) as the main character Alice. I have to say, Alexis does a wonderful performance as the heart warming woman Alice. The strongest performance in this film, is without a doubt from actress Rachel Alig ( who i especially remember from the independent film Officer Down ). Her performance as the disturbed woman Shelly gives this film the right touch of insanity that this film needs. There are a few performances that work as well, but these 2 main characters are the most interesting in The Cleaning Lady. The psychological perspective on Shelly shows you how a child can be destroyed, and have no remorse or understanding other people´s feelings. Unfortunately, we know that Shelly is just one of the few girls out there who have a horrible childhood, and this happens worldwide in reality. Director Jon Knautz ( who directed the B movie classic Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer ) have made a horror / thriller that will guaranteed please you if you enjoy psychological thrillers. This is one of the independent films you should check out on DVD or Blu Ray this summer, since it has been a while we have seen good horror / thriller. I have no doubt saying this, The Cleaning Lady will make you want to clean your house more often. And remember, if you don´t do it properly, Shelly will make sure you do it right.