Book to Box Office: My Best Friend’s Exorcism
Based on: My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Expected Release Date: N/A
Directed by: N/A
Summary: From Quirk Publishing: Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. Through the years, they have bonded over E.T., roller-skating, and a shared love for pop music. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act . . . different. As the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
Working for it: This book has a crucial thing working in its favour in that it is incredible. A wonderfully fun, scary, sad, uplifting, terrifying story that is begging for big screen treatment. In terms of the technical elements the book takes place mostly in a single city, does not have any huge expensive set pieces, and while a period piece, the period is the ‘80s so they could just steal some props from Stranger Things or go on eBay.
Speaking of Stranger Things, the ‘80s are back in and we are seeing an emerging genre of science fiction and horror set in the 1980s like the aforementioned Stranger Things and the awesome comic book, Paper Girls. Now is the perfect time for a horror movie set in that decade.
Working against it: Ready Player One might suck so much that we have to remove the ‘80s from everyone’s memories, or this burst of 1980s love might open the door to imitators and parodies to the point where the brief candle of our ‘80s nostalgia goes out before it can be lit. Also working against it is that exorcism movies were already perfected in 1973 with William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, so it’s got a bit of an uphill battle in that regard.
Wild Card: Go out on the street and ask people if they want to see an ‘80s horror movie fronted by two fantastically realized female characters with a real lived-in friendship that deals with issues of class, high school, religion, Phil Collins, drugs, sexuality, and the nature of female friendship. Unless they’re a dick you’re going to hear a lot of resounding yeses. This story is incredible. It is unflinching and horrifying, and a lot of the horror is because Hendrix has created such rich, awesome characters that you can’t help but feel their happiness and their pain all the way through.
Verdict: So far there haven’t been any rumblings that a movie is in development. When we spoke to Grady Hendrix he had some ideas of what he would like to see in a movie version, and as I read it I could see it on the screen. The world is a hundred percent ready for a movie that is Heathers and The Exorcist and Mean Girls all at once. Now someone just needs to get it made.
Featured Image: Quirk Publishing