If you’re looking for something a bit more lighthearted in the mix of Halloween season releases, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is worth a watch.
Based on the novel by Grady Hendrix, the film portrays the story of best friends Abby (Elsie Fisher) and Gretchen (Amiah Miller). The proceedings are set in 1988, when the two teenagers join their friends for some fun at a lake house, and return with more than they bargained for when Gretchen starts displaying odd behavior.
As Gretchen’s actions grow increasingly abnormal and sinister, Abby looks for help in unexpected places as she believes that Gretchen may be possessed.
Very rarely do I stray from the opinion that “the book was better”, and that remains the case with this film. However, that doesn’t mean I disliked the cinematic counterpart. My main takeaway is that it’s difficult to pack the entire content of a novel into a feature film. To keep the runtime manageable and hold the attention of the audience, some of the content must go.
At its heart I’ve always thought of My Best Friend’s Exorcism as a coming of age story. The friendship between Abby and Gretchen is the heart of the novel and also the basis for the film but it’s tough to convey their bond through the screen.
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That being said, I thought the flick was spot on with the ’80s aesthetic. I loved the soundtrack and the score. Both were reminiscent of some of my favorite teen films and shows from that decade. The clothing and the characters’ bedroom décor were also on point. As a child in the ’80s, watching this film took me back to that time.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism has good pacing and some fun comedic moments. I feel like most of the comedy came later in the film, and could’ve been slotted in a bit more evenly throughout. Many of the scares are campy, and not truly frightening, but I enjoyed that as it felt like a throwback to the films of years past.
In addition to the ’80s scene, the other highlights of the film include the acting by Elsie Fisher, and the appearance of Chris Lowell, who brought some laugh-out-loud moments to the screen as Christian Lemon.
Overall, this was a fun picture to view, and I’d recommend it to those who enjoy the look and feel of the ’80s and coming of age stories from that decade. Gen X and elder Millennials will likely have the most fun with this one. As always, I highly recommend checking out the novel. Be sure to grab the paperback–the cover looks like a VHS and it’s brilliant.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism is available now on Amazon Prime.
WICKED RATING: 7/10