My Best Friend’s Exorcism leans heavily on 80’s nostalgia, but avoids raw horror and scares

by Gordon Shelly

My Best Friends’ Exorcism has some elements of the supernatural, a bit of comedy, and a combination of horror tropes. Mostly, however, it leans on 1980’s nostalgia, which is a thing these days… a stranger thing.

The movie aims to capture many stereotypes of the day. Some more successfully than others. Among them are the intense bullying that ran rampant at the time, the rise of infomercials, and the tough life of an adolescent teen trying to find a way to fit in.

Sometimes mixing genres works, and sometimes it is My Best Friend’s Exorcism where the genre splicing never finds a groove and never fully lets the movie decide what it wants to be.

The movie might serve its best purpose as a teen gateway to the horror genre. It is perfect for those who want to be scared just a little bit, but don’t want to commit to anything that is full of intense violence, jump scares, or gore.

There is also just enough happening here to make it an interesting tale of teen friendship as trauma and conflict test the bonds of the main characters.

While the leads do a fine job, Chris Lowell steals the show as the would-be exorcist, workout guru in the name of the Lord! When he is on screen, My Best Friend’s Exorcism knows what it wants to be and mixes genres nicely. However, when Lowell isn’t around, the movie never quite exorcises its own demons.

Gordon’s Grade: C+