One would think that after four seasons of Stranger Things reveling in the nostalgia of horror-tinged 1980s cinema, and countless other properties exploiting the same territory in response, we’d be running low on remaining ‘80s throwback goodwill. And yet, the projects just continue to be churned out, don’t they? Like one of Return of the Living Dead’s particularly indestructible zombies, the ‘80s-styled horror comedy feels like it’s become an immortal aspect of the genre at this point, and Amazon Prime Video certainly isn’t above taking advantage. Case in point: The first trailer below, for upcoming teen horror comedy My Best Friend’s Exorcism.
The film is an adaptation of the best-selling novel from author Grady Hendrix, and can at least claim a few likable leads, in the form of Eighth Grade’s Elsie Fisher and GLOW’s Christopher Lowell. The titular possessed friend, meanwhile, is played by Amiah Miller (The Water Man), with a cast that also includes Cathy Ang and Rachel Ogechi Kenu. My Best Friend’s Exorcism advertises itself as “produced by the director of Freaky and Happy Death Day,” (Christopher Landon) but is actually directed by Damon Thomas, a rather prolific TV director who has helmed episodes of Killing Eve, Penny Dreadful and others. You want a synopsis? Here you go:
Surviving the teenage years isn’t easy, especially when you’re possessed by a demon. It’s 1988, and best friends Abby (Elsie Fisher) and Gretchen (Amiah Miller) are navigating boys, pop culture, and a paranormal force clinging to Gretchen like a pair of neon legwarmers. With assistance from overly confident mall exorcist Christian Lemon (Christopher Lowell), Abby is determined to compel the demon back to the pits of hell—if it doesn’t kill Gretchen first. At turns horrifying and hilarious, My Best Friend’s Exorcism pays homage to 1980s pop culture with a totally timeless tale of terror and true friendship.
Looking at the trailer itself, this all feels quite familiar at this point—the use of Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” is so on point that it feels like genre parody more than anything. Hopefully, My Best Friend’s Exorcism will have a few surprises to offer beyond the gag of “Babysitter’s Club meets The Exorcist,” or this could get old fast. Regardless, the film hits Amazon Prime Video on Sept. 30, 2022.