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Review: ‘My Best Friend’s Exorcism’ Is an Endearing Horror Comedy With Real Friendship

4 out of 5 stars

abby and gretchen in My Best Friend's Exorcism

There’s a certain power in the relationships that teenage girls can have with one another, whether they be strictly platonic or romantic, as well. The truth is people don’t always value platonic connection in the same way, and when the plot of a movie, in this case a horror comedy, is about someone trying to save their best friend, there’s something unique about that. My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022) has such a charming nature to it, and that’s especially due to the friendship between Gretchen (Amiah Miller) and Abby (Elsie Fisher).

My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022) is based on Grady Hendrix’s book (of the same name). It’s about Abby and Gretchen, who are best friends at a private school. When they go on a mini getaway with their other friends, Gretchen gets possessed, and from there, Abby must fight to get the demon out of her best friend. No matter what. Of course, the events that lead up to the exorcism are nail biting.

The demon makes Gretchen do all sorts of nefarious things, such as play games with their queer friend, make their friend with an eating disorder get sick with tape worms, and ridicule Abby. It’s obviously a sinister way of making Gretchen lose everything—though, in a sense, it’s not too unrealistic in terms of how teenagers can be shitty. And how the destruction of a friendship feels like hell—ironically, in this case. What the film tackles so effortlessly is the isolation that comes with losing your best friend. Abby looks lonely, feels desperate and broken even when she’s struggling to believe Gretchen is really possessed. Despite the comedic beats in this film, there’s still moments that are serious.

Once Abby fully believes Gretchen is possessed, she enlists the help of a religious dork. Who also really loves yogurt. He’s not as important of a character and proves to be useless by leaving as shit hits the fan, which proves that Abby was going to be only one to save her bestie. Obviously, that turn of events is symbolic and drives Abby to not give up—something that would be easy to do if you truly didn’t care.

Aside from the well done serious moments, the comedy isn’t aggressively irritating. It doesn’t feel dated somehow, with the film perfectly capturing the essence of the ’80s—from the fashion to the meathead jock who treats his supposed girlfriend and her friends like shit, the music, and the mention of Nancy Reagan. My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022) is for folks who appreciate friendship between young women, good scares, plenty of laughs and nutty demon antics.

You can watch MBFE on Amazon Prime right now! Don’t remember to bring your bag of salt.

(featured image: Amazon Studios)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.