JP Pomare’s thrilling police thriller Cleaning it was a potent mix of intrigue and darkness as it tracked down real-life cults in Australia and around the world. Hulu’s eight-part adaptation does justice to the bestseller and then some. It’s a psychological thriller, as intriguing to watch as it is exhilarating. Chilling, in fact. You can’t take your eyes off him.
Cleaning follows the nightmares of a cult and a woman who is forced to face the horrors of her past in order to stop the kidnapping and coercion of innocent children. The featured cast here includes Teresa Palmer (discovery of witches), Miranda Otto (Homeland), Guy Pearce (Easttown Mare)Hazem Shammas, Mark Coles-Smith, Kate Mulvany and Julia Savage in a striking role.
Filmed in VictoriaCleaning was created and written by Elise McCredie (Stateless) and Matt Cameron (irish cat), with co-writer Osamah Sami. Jeffrey Walker (young rock) and Gracie Otto (seriously red) take on directing duties in a memorable outing that slowly builds up its world and the fascinating characters and events within it.
Follow the cult leader please
Cleaning he moves from the past to the present, often blurring the lines between them and reality as well. Leading the drama today is Freya played by Teresa Palmer, who faces an emotional battlefield as she struggles to manage the largely isolated life in the woods that she has created with her infant son. We soon understand why.
Freya, it seems, is somehow linked to events of the past that revolve around a cult led by an enigmatic presence, Adrienne Beaufort (Miranda Otto in prime form). Adrienne is royalty, as she sees it, and her minions run the show, keeping the coerced and/or kidnapped children, all blond to her liking, on high alert and always focused on bowing down to Adrienne, the “mother.” her.
One of the recently kidnapped girls, Sara (Lily LaTorre), doesn’t immediately fall under the great spell that Adrienne’s workers cast on her. Sara just wants to go home after being taken to Blackmarsh, a twilight mansion if there ever was one and apparently the main hideout of the cult. She’s also smart enough to know that Adrienne is No his mother and does not succumb to the required forced bond with his new “siblings”, all of whom were brought there against their will.
For some reason, Sara is unique, and Adrienne wants teenage Amy (Julia Savage) to keep her in check. That proves to be a challenge. Amy takes a liking to Sara. She loves hearing about the world beyond the compound, and with each passing day, her loyalty to Adrienne begins to weaken.
That doesn’t sit well with Adrienne, and as the first few episodes unfold, there are plenty of confrontations: between Adrienne and Amy, and Amy and the workers, particularly Tamsin, played with exceptional strength by Kate Mulvany. Tamsin barks orders, she gets upset if anyone, especially Sara or Amy, misses a beat. Because? One suspects that his ties to Adrienne and the history they share will be revealed in more detail as the series progresses. But if the first three episodes are any good, it’s safe to say Cleaning It’s a keeper. It’s scarily good.
Linking the past with the present
In the present day, Freya becomes increasingly shaky about her safety and the safety of her son. There has been a disappearance of a girl and Freya fears that the cult has somehow reorganized. Shocked, the shock wave of the effects of her past trauma places her current life in a precarious place. No one seems to understand what’s behind her erratic behavior. Palmer’s performance is perfect here. Watching her fall apart, though often not easy to watch, is a sight to behold. she is credible
Such is the royal cult; it’s disarming to say the least. Adrienne’s devoted gang are young children and while the series doesn’t delve too much into their pre-cult lives in its first few episodes, you do find yourself wondering who these precious children were before Mamma Adrienne caught them. Some lights shine here, however, and we’ve got Erroll Shand’s Henrik for that. He seems to have a deep love for children, but his fierce devotion to Adrienne may never let up.
It’s interesting to note that Guy Pearce, like Dr. Bryce Latham, doesn’t have a big role here other than being a strong supporter of Adrienne. This will most likely not be the case as the series moves on to later episodes. Pearce is too talented to simply play a small supporting role.
What will be more pressing for the series as it progresses, however, is how well its writers connect the dots of the past with the present. The end of the first episode offers a big reveal, which is sure to keep viewers tuned in. It’s a satisfying twist. Could Miranda Otto be any scarier? (Emmy nods, please.) Having said that, Cleaning, With its pervasive moodiness and foreboding, Effective captures the dire consequences of what a cult is and what it can do to impressionable minds. There is a savior out there somewhere and no doubt viewers will keep watching until we see who he really is.
Cleaning premieres May 24 on Hulu and on Disney+. The show is only available on Disney+ internationally.