MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM on Prime Video is a new horror comedy based on the popular 2016 novel by Grady Hendrix. Taking place in the 1980s, this is kitsch nostalgia at its finest. Read our full My Best Friend’s Exorcism movie review here!

MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM is a new Prime Video horror-comedy that takes place in the 1980s. For me, the nostalgia is a real treat and I love the friendship shown in this film. Well, that and the creepy possession elements, of course.

The horror-comedy is based on a novel by author Grady Hendrix and he has described it as “Beaches meets The Exorcist” which feels strangely appropriate. While the entire story plays out over a relatively short period of time, there is a follow-up on all the characters right before the end credits.

Continue reading our My Best Friend’s Exorcism movie review below. Watch the film on Prime Video from September 30, 2022.

The Satanic Panic

Since My Best Friend’s Exorcism is set in the late ’80s, it’s also during the so-called Satanic Panic. Of course, this time had a lot more to do with hating everything dark and different than it did anything religious. Basically, if you liked horror or metal, you were practically seen as being a devil-worshipper.

Then again, I’m sure it’s still like that in many places.

What’s really interesting about this story – which is light and funny as well as features an exorcism – is that the religious adults won’t really listen or help. That’s why this is ultimately a story about the power of high school friendship, and being ready to go that extra mile for your best friend.

Well, that and actual demonic possession. The actual demonic possession part of the story works remarkably well. Especially because it begins with small things and that escalates very quickly later on.

My Best Friend's Exorcism – Review | Horror Movie

A horror-comedy take on Beaches

The two all-important lead characters in My Best Friend’s Exorcism are portrayed by Elsie Fisher (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eighth Grade) and Amiah Miller (Lights Out, War for the Planet of the Apes). Elsie Fisher plays Abby Rivers and Amiah Miller is Gretchen Lang.

Both deliver really strong performances, but obviously, Amiah Miller has a lot more to work with in the horror-comedy department. She plays the teenage girl who gets possessed. In that sense, Elsie Fisher plays the more laid-back character, who wants her best friend back.

The friendship between Abby and Gretchen is a classic “Best Friend”-relationship where the two are absolutely inseparable. They talk about everything and spend every waking moment together. Having this set in the 1980s makes for a great backdrop that makes my nostalgic little heart happy.

Another key character is portrayed by Christopher Lowell (GLOW) who ends up playing a key part in the actual exorcism. Also, you’ll see a familiar face in Clayton Royal Johnson who was in season 4 of Stranger Things and the Netflix series Echoes.

Watch My Best Friend’s Exorcism on Prime Video

Damon Thomas is the director of My Best Friend’s Exorcism and he has previously directed some amazing TV series. These include Penny DreadfulKilling Eve, and Dracula. Apart from having directed several TV movies, he has mostly been working with TV series but does a great job with this Prime Video horror comedy.

The screenplay was written by Jenna Lamia, who has worked on several TV series and often those featuring younger core characters – such as 90210 and Awkward. This is the feature film screenplay debut for Jenna Lamia and she’s done a great job.

Of course, this is an adaption of a Grady Hendrix novel, but adapting anything is no small feat. I haven’t read the book, because I wanted to watch this adaption first. However, my Heaven of Horror partner did read the book a few years ago and was very happy with this film version.

Whether you’re familiar with the book or not, you should be able to enjoy this horror comedy, so be sure to check it out on Prime Video.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism is available on Prime Video worldwide on September 30, 2022.

Details

Director: Damon Thomas
Script: Jenna Lamia
Cast: Elsie Fisher, Amiah Miller, Cathy Ang, Rachel Ogechi, Cynthia Evans, Christopher Lowell

Plot

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina