Starring Alexis Kendra, Stelio Savante, Rachel Alig
Directed by Jon Knautz
Written by Jon Knautz and Alexis Kendra
Relationships are one of those things that can be shoved under a microscope and studied for endless hours, and the distinctive thing about them is that there more than likely isn’t one identical to another. Close? Sure, but to have that shiny, picture-perfect connection is a fallacy to some… for there’s always an underlying issue that could rise to the surface at any moment, whether it’s skin deep or not. Jon Knautz’s brooding chiller The Cleaning Lady is the prime example of such an experiment in relationships – watch whom you let close to you, as they could be the one standing over you as either a savior or a foe.
The film stars the exquisitely stunning Alexis Kendra as Alice; she’s the kind of woman with a lot to show on the material end of things, but she’s bereft of returned emotion from her lover, Michael (Savante). Alice has dollars for days and a life (from the outside looking in) that would make anyone jealous to an extent…granted, she’s his mistress but it’s the act of jealousy here that becomes the catalyst for something truly terrifying down the road a spell. Her melancholic need for someone to relate to takes her outside of her weekly support group and towards her maid, Shelly (Alig), a disfigured and rather silent entity that will surely be by her new pal’s side one way or another.
The Cleaning Lady is a stretched out companion to the short film that was released back in 2016, and it’s just as unsettling as its predecessor, which should make fans of the quickie very happy. Suspense does run high at times, but if it’s stomach-churning, rat-in-a-blender action that you’re looking for, then trust me: Look no further! Both Kendra and Alig work extremely well in their roles, giving viewers a look at how trauma can affect both the “pretty” and “not so pretty” folks, sometimes with horrific results.
There are more than a few moral questions that beg to be answered in this 90-minute presentation, and while some border on the murky side of explanation, it’s the general uneasiness of what occurs over the course of the movie’s last half that acts as a resuscitator of sorts. Both Knautz’s direction and Kendra’s writing and acting chops have given horror fans a new dilemma, far away from the “Should I go into the woods?” paradox. No – this now has dropped “Should this person be the one I call my friend?“directly onto our plates. Take a big bite, and think hard about letting your wall down to a kind stranger.