Writing and directing duo Madison Hatfield and Jono Mitchell combine two of cinema's most popular tropes (possession and bachelorette party) for the film Courtney Gets Possessed.
It's the ultimate showdown between love and the underworld when bride-to-be Courtney (Lauren Buglioli) runs into a bit of an ex problem: her old flame is none other than the Devil himself, and she knows he's close. With her nuptials to Glen (Zae Jordan) on the line and the Prince of Darkness lurking close by, Courtney does her best to protect her childhood home on the eve of the wedding.
But when her ne'er-do-well sister Catlin (Madison Hatfield) accidentally invites Satan (Jonathon Pawlowski) inside (known more casually as Dave), he possesses Courtney! This turn of events quickly throws a demonic wrench into her happily-ever-after plans. Courtney's ragtag team of reluctant heroes, including her sister, perfectionist best friend Lexi (Aditi George), and skeptical future sister-in-law Jasmine (Najah Bradley), must find a way to exorcise Dave, reclaim Courtney's soul, and get her down the aisle with as little bloodshed as possible.
When I received an email requesting me to review Courtney Gets Possessed, I had a strange feeling of déjà vu. The latest installment of The Exorcist franchise is currently showing in theaters, and it reminded me of the summer of 1990 when The Exorcist III was released. A month later, the parody movie Repossessed also hit theaters. Although both movies initially received a lukewarm response, over time, they were both better received by audiences.
While The Exorcist: The Beliver is on the doldrum side, Courtney Gets Possessed is a lot of fun. Kudos to the writing and directing duo for opening the film at a wedding where Corunety is watching a former crush get married to one of her friends, making her more privy to Dave's charms. It was great to set up her emotional core, and Lauren Buglioli quickly sold the material.
The creatives behind the scenes waste no time in setting up the plot, which I also commend them for. Regarding production value, Courtney Gets Possessed is a low-budget film, and it shows in the overall execution. The bulk of the film takes place in a single location, but the special effects are sharp, considering the budget, and the plot is predictable. It's essential to approach this film with the understanding that it is meant to be a light-hearted and over-the-top comedy.
The ladies in the film all have sharp comedic timing and delivery, which brings some laughs to the film. At the same time, Johnathon Pawlowski is having a grand time hamming it up as Old Scratch. In comparison, Zae Jordan has a great moment that fans of nineties R&B will appreciate.
Ultimately, whether you enjoy Courtney Gets Possessed depends on your sense of humor. If you're a fan of the quick-witted comedic style or enjoy female-led comedic films, you might find some entertainment value in Courtney Gets Possessed. However, if you're looking for a sophisticated or thought-provoking comedy, there might be better choices than this film.
Final Grade: C+
Courtney Gets Possessed is AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL + ON DEMAND Friday, November 3rd