Grady Hendrix is into the best stuff: karate movies, 70s horror paperbacks, Satan…this movie is based on his novel of the same name, telling the story of best friends Abby (Elsie Fisher) and Gretchen (Amiah Miller) who have grown up together and are lamenting the fact that they will soon be living in separate states soon. They decide to go off to a literal cabin in the woods with their friends — maybe acquaintances is a better term — Glee (Cathy Ang), Margaret (Rachel Ogechi Kanu) and her boyfriend Wally (Clayton Royal Johnson) and drop acid.
What happens next is a Jack Chick story come to life: Abby and Gretchen trip balls, explore a house that once had occult rituals conducted inside it and Gretchen gets possessed to the point that she’s no longer Abby’s best friend, along with nearly murdering Glee with her peanut allergy and infesting Margaret with worms.
There’s only one person who can help: weightlifter for Christ and yogurt obsessive Christian Lemon (Christopher Lowell), who can see the demon inside Gretchen and has always wanted to complete an exorcism.
Directed by Damon Thomas from a script by Jenna Lamia, this movie feels like it’s trying to be the 80s we only know from nostalgic media that doesn’t look like the 80s. The soundtrack is very all over the place and as much as I love Culture Club, kids in 1988 had moved on from them. That said, this has a disgusting worm scene, more than enough possessed vomit and Fisher and Miller have a great chemistry together that makes you believe that they’re friends.
I’d love someone that knows the book to let me know how close to the source material this got. I had fun with this, even if at times it felt like a trifle, but then again, isn’t a teen comedy supposed to feel that way? It’s no Jennifer’s Body, but honestly, what other female-empowered horror movie has ever gone that hard?