Grady Hendrix has made a name for himself in the teen horror novel genre and added his penmanship to recent features for Mohawk and Satanic Panic. His popular novel My Best Friend’s Exorcism has received a feature treatment and is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Marked, rightfully as The Exorcist meets Heathers, MBFE utilises the nostalgic feels of the 80s through music, American high school issues, and the verbal language and cusses that wouldn’t see the light of day if set in current times. It’s excellently handled by director Damon Thomas, combined with the cinematography by Rob Givens who offer a film that looks retro whilst still resonating with a modern audience.
Part of its appeal comes from the friendship between Abby (Elsie Fisher – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)) and Gretchen (Amiah Miller – Lights Out), a tighter than tight unity where they laugh at each others jokes, the love for Boy George, The Thorn Birds and ET, cookies and cream frozen yoghurt and all the small things that bind them are put to the test.
Once the scene is set, addressing Abby’s awkwardness against Gretchen’s confidence in an angsty environment, where outsiders are treated with contempt; our lead protagonists venture into an abandoned summer house under the influence of LSD, get separated when Gretchen gets violated and consumed by a demonic presence.
Now Abby must find her own confidence in the face of adversity and tackle the turmoil of high school trauma and address conflicts both inward and outward and rescue her best friend along the way. This all comes with a test on her own presence, where both friends must exorcise different kinds of demons to reach a well fought out conclusion.
The 80s nostalgic vibe with nods to the horror elements of the time deserve high praise and hook you into the narrative with relative ease. It’s not groundbreaking stuff but the fun elements outweigh any concerns here, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is an enjoyable teen horror that will appeal to a wide audience.
- Saul Muerte
My Best Friend’s Exorcism is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime.