Despite its best efforts, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a horror-comedy that is neither funny or scary. The latest in a line of 1980s set nostalgia trips, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is ripped straight from the pages of Grady Hendrix’s novel of the same name. There’s an annoyingly catchy pop soundtrack, terrible hair, worse fashion and plenty of clunky dialogue. Not knowing if it wants to be a parody or nostalgia trip, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a dull 97 minute ride.
We all know that school is hell, and none more so than when your best friend becomes possessed after taking acid on a weekend away at a spooky cabin in the woods. And that is exactly what happens to Abby (Elsie Fisher) and Gretchen (Amiah Miller), when they go away with Margaret (Rachel Ogechi Kanu) and Glee (Cathy Ang). It’s all relatively straightforward from here, as My Best Friend’s Exorcism borrows from other teen horror films, and fails to do anything new or exciting in either genre.
The story follows our four friend as they ponder what exactly happened to Gretchen after their weekend away. Was it a bad trip? Did Margaret’s douchebag boyfriend rape Gretchen? Or is she just finally coming out of her shell and rebelling against her devout religious parents? Of course, the audience already knows the answer, and the film takes far too long in exploring the other options which we know are not going anywhere. The undertones that director Damon Thomas and writer Jenna Lamia aim for, while lofty and noble, are simply not there. The humour scattered at points throughout the film does nothing to undercut the horror. And likewise, the horror does nothing to build tension and thus allow the humour to work. It’s poorly paced, and, quite frankly, badly acted.
There really is little of any value here, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism will leave you wondering how else you could have spent 97 minutes of your time.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism is available from 30 September on Prime Video.
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