Yeah, I know, this was supposed to be a musical review of K-12 – but after about 15 minutes I realized I absolutely wasn’t interested in watching an extended music video/concept album and wanted to watch something else. So, here we are. I would apologize, but I’m not sorry. I’ve said it before, life is too short for movies you don’t actually feel like watching. Lets clear this house bay-bee.
So, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is adapted from the novel by Grad Hendrix – which I haven’t read and so I won’t be able to speak to how this works as an adaptation or anything like that, but I will say it has maybe piqued my interest in checking out the book so that’s an endorsement I guess isn’t it? Alright, so what is it then?
Directed by Damon Thomas (Killing Eve), written by Jenna Lamia (90210), and starring Elise Fisher (Eighth Grade), Amiah Miller (Lights Out), and Christopher Lowell (Glow) – there’s a lot of mixed signs here, and it doesn’t really surprise me that this movie didn’t seem to receive a huge amount of advanced promotion. Or at least I didn’t hear a single god damn thing about it.
This is a story set in the ’80s, because that’s all we know how to do right now, and centers around the story of, well, two best friends struggling with one friend’s impending move, who drop acid at a gathering and one of them becomes possessed, a classic thing we can all relate to. The story follows all of the standard tropes and trappings of just about any exorcism story you’ve seen, and while it won’t redefine a generation or anything, honestly, the movie is extremely charming and even teeters into being genuinely creepy (“The first one was 11 feet long” *shudders*).
I’d say the one place that the movie falls down is in its brief trip down the “friend thinks her friend was raped” cul-de-sac. IT’s one of those situations where the movie hasn’t really earned what it’s doing and also doesn’t unpack or address it enough, so it feels like a movie trying to take on something serious and dropping the ball. It’s not offensive or anything, it’s just sloppy, and there is definitely something that you can do with that if the script was a bit stronger, but here we are. Maybe the book is to blame, but I wouldn’t know and so it falls on the script.
The performances are all fine, Lowell is genuinely funny as one of a trio of faith-based body builders who serves as the exorcist. Their whole thing is very funny and absolutely worked for me. Also, there’s a scene in broad daylight where our possessed girl throws up on an asshole and it’s just a beautiful moment. It’s also nice to see Elsie Fisher in something entertaining after the absolute dog-shit that was the most recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre. She deserves all the success after really coming out strong with Eighth Grade, so I’m always happy to see her in stuff.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism is pretty light fare, not a kid’s horror film by any stretch, but just a bit of fun Halloween fare that is well worth taking a look at if you’re looking for something new and that isn’t going to overstay it’s welcome. While it does take a stab at a couple of things that it … maybe didn’t need to, it’s a solid effort and a well acted little movie. You could do much worse, and you know you’re looking for something to watch this month. Plus, the soundtrack is pretty fun, so that’s also good.