Thursday, September 29, 2022

My Best Friend's Exorcism: Movie Review

Combines an 80s aesthetic with religious themes and comedy-horror vibes.
A surprising number of teen movies with a take-off of Heathers have been released in recent weeks. Netflix’s Do Revenge is a lighter comedic more Mean Girls than Heathers spin, CreatorPlus’s Jane is a darker straight drama-thriller version, and now Amazon’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism goes for a pure comedy-horror take. Set in 1988, the same year Heathers was released, its influence on the characters is clear with a number of borrowed lines.   2022

Directed by: Damon Thomas

Screenplay by: Jenna Lamia
Based on the novel by Grady Hendrix

Starring: Elsie Fisher, Amiah Miller

Opening with A-ha’s Take On Me, the film is full of classic 80s songs never wanting to let the party stop and it mostly succeeds. Abby (Elsie Fisher, in her first big movie role since Eighth Grade) and Gretchen (Amiah Miller) are best friends, often pairing up with fellow best friends Margaret (Rachel Ogechi Kanu) and Glee (Cathy Ang). The four decide to take a weekend trip to Margaret’s parent’s lake house. A perfect setting for a horror movie.

At the lake house, the four friends plus Margaret’s boyfriend, a grade-A douche-bag named Wallace, take acid and then spend the next hour wondering if it has taken effect yet. Abby and Gretchen go off on their own in the woods to this old, abandoned, farm house. Something - likely a rodent, possibly a demon - scares the girls and they run off. Abby runs away but Gretchen trips and can’t find her way out of the house. Her best friend abandoned her, even though she does find her shortly thereafter.

Back at school, the movie continues its strong 1980s comedy-horror vibe. The characters all attend a catholic school where Nancy Reagan has drilled into their heads that drugs is bad. Whatever happened in that abandoned house is their fault for doing drugs. Abby is positive that Gretchen has changed, she’s acting weird and different. Is Gretchen just getting revenge on her friends for abandoning her? Or is she possessed by a demon? Given the title My Best Friend’s Exorcism it's pretty clear where this is headed, but it does have fun getting there.

How many people had Chris Lowell starring as a religious bodybuilder who performs exorcisms on their Actors’ Bingo Card? A surprising appearance but very fun. The film combines the 80s aesthetic with religious themes with the comedy-horror vibes very well. The exorcism ending takes a full half hour and it slows down a lot, but My Best Friend’s Exorcism has crafted its setting with clear intentions in mind. Most viewers will have some fun with this one.

Similar Titles:

  Jane (2022) - Dark and chilling thriller.

  Do Revenge (2022) - A glossy and shiny version of a dark comedy.