My Best Friend’s Exorcism Review

PLOT: After a wild night of LSD and a trip to an abandoned building, Gretchen comes back acting different. Her best friend Abby must try and to save her. If she even can.

REVIEW: I’ve really been looking forward to My Best Friend’s Exorcism for quite some time. Grady Hendrix‘s book has great reviews and the announcement of the cast sealed the deal. But what I didn’t expect was how exceptionally made the film is. What could have been a shallow look at possession in the 90s, turns into a character study that uses the time period as a way to further the story at every turn. And I was on board for every minute.

Exorcism stories have never been easy to pull off. Outside of The Exorcist, there are very few films that live up to the concept. Thankfully, My Best Friend’s Exorcism really takes the ball and runs with it. The friendship between Abby and Gretchen is the backbone of the movie. Elsie Fisher exploded onto the scene with Eighth Grade and the character of Abby almost feels like an extension of her. Which almost gives an instant attachment to the character. But fret not if you haven’t seen Bo Burnham’s wonderful look at the awkwardness of growing up, the script does a wonderful job of building up Abby on her own.

Elsie Fisher and Amiah Miller in My Best Friend's Exorcism (2022).

Amiah Miller does a phenomenal job as Gretchen and is really a highlight of the film. Possession can often come across very corny but she’s able to play very different sides convincingly. The tricks they used during her possession really tickled my fancy. There’s one moment where she unnaturally slides sideways on the bed that looked glorious. Plus, I always love the throwing up trope in these kinds of movies. Though I probably could have done for a slightly less CGI-looking version. Give me practical effects! I could have also used a little less CGI in the final act. The film did a great job of being grounded that it was disappointing to see it falter slightly towards the end. Still, that’s not enough to diminish the rest.

How the film utilizes religion is incredible, featuring religious Christian fitness nuts named The Lemon Brothers. If you’ve ever seen The Righteous Gemstones, then this concept will be familiar but if it’s not, they work out in malls for Jesus. It’s genuinely great. You always expect a priest to get involved in any exorcism film, so the fact that this film uses one of the Lemon Brothers is absolute perfection. Everyone in the cast is impressive from the friends (Cathy Ang and Rachel Ogechi Kanu ) to even the jockish douche (Clayton Royal Johnson). But my favorite character is easily Christian Lemon (Christopher Lowell) who owns every scene he’s in. I could go for a whole movie with just his character.

(l-r) Amiah Miller, Elsie Fisher, Cathy Ang, and Rachel Ogechi Kanu in My Best Friend's Exorcism (2022).

There were some truly shocking moments that had my mouth agape. I’m not going to spoil any of those here but I will just say bravo to the filmmakers. It takes a lot to get me to wince, yet this film does so with aplomb. The music is also fantastic. All the licensed songs are bangers that really set the mood. Then the score by is one of my favorites in a long while. It has a bit of a John Carpenter vibe and really elevated the film.

I ended up absolutely loving My Best Friend’s Exorcism. What starts out as a wonderful character piece turns into an exorcism film like no other. While there are certainly some stereotypical beats, none of them diminish the enjoyment of the story being told. Whether you’re wanting true horror or just a well-made coming-of-age tale, there’s plenty to enjoy with this one.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism is STREAMING ON AMAZON PRIME ON SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2022.

About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.