MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM
(director: Damon Thomas; screenwriters: Jenna Lamia/based on the Quirk Book novel by Grady Hendrix; cinematographer: Rob Givens; editor: Brad Turner; music: Ryland Blackinton; cast: Elsie Fisher (Abby Rivers), Amiah Miller (Gretchen), Rachel Ogechi Kanu (Margaret Chisolm), Cameron Bass (Brother Morgan), Clayton Royal Johnson (Wallace Stoney), Christopher Lowell (Christian Lemon), Cathy Ang (Glee Tanaka); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: R; producer: David Borgenicht/Jennifer Semler/Chistofer Landon/Ellen Goldsmith-Vein; Amazon Prime Video; 2022)
“Only the Devil can make me see it again.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An unfunny but somewhat likable comical teen horror pic directed by Damon Thomas (Penny Dreadful series). It’s based on the 2016 Quirk Book novel by Grady Hendrix, and scripted by Jenny Lamia.
It’s set in 1988. The inseparable best teen friends, the short-haired brunette, Abby (Elsie Fisher), and, the long-haired blonde, Gretchen (Amiah Miller), are concerned that after the summer Gretchen is moving away and won’t be seen again.
At a house party with their close friends, Margaret (Rachel Ogechi Kanu) and Glee (Cathy Ang), they trip out on acid brought by the surprise visit of Margaret’s low-life bigoted boyfriend (Clayton Royal Johnson). When the party-goers roam around in the woods behind Margaret’s secluded lake house and locate an eerie abandoned house (known in the area as a place of Satanic worship), strange things happen. After going inside, Gretchen starts acting as if possessed by the devil. The only help around is from the Lemon brothers, a trio of weight-lifting Christian fitness gurus, who give pump-you-up pep talks at school rallies. The crude brother called Christian Lemon (Christopher Lowell) is called upon by Abby to conduct the exorcism to save her bestie since the 4th grade.
Readers claim the film lacks some of the best stuff from the book. Whatever, the film’s material is not good, it’s pacing is poor and it is too lost in its silliness to seriously overcome all its deficiencies. Only the Devil can make me see it again.
Soundtrack selections include those from Tiffany, Culture Club, A-ha and Blondie.
REVIEWED ON 10/30/2022 GRADE: C