TAGLINE: SHE CAN HANDLE HER SPIRITS.
I originally stumbled (or rather, scrolled) upon this movie via Netflix about a month or two ago and just kept putting it on the back burner each time. Finally, I have given it the time of day and I have to say that, if I had set any kind of expectations, it would have surpassed them.
As someone who thoroughly enjoys thrillers, horror movies, movies about paranormal activity, and things like that, I’ve seen a ton of the same ole same. Going into this one, I didn’t really know what to expect because you rarely ever see a movie about AFTER the exorcism. AFTER the lead character has been spiritually rescued. Especially one that is supposed to be seen more as a comedy. I don’t know how or why I put this movie off for as long as I did, but, that’s neither here nor there at this point.
Sidenote: Yes I do totally believe in possession, spiritual presences, etc. Absolutely. That doesn’t change the fact that I found this movie extremely funny.
So, like I said, this movie takes on the topic of after “Ava” has been possessed for a couple of months and her family has a priest intervene and perform an exorcism. It literally begins by showing a montage of the exorcism: pea soup vomiting, levitation, craziness, etc. etc. And then there she is being untied and brought up to speed about what’s going on. Right from this moment I found it hilarious because her apartment is a wreck, her mom (played by the awesome Carol Kane) is unpacking groceries and wearing an eye patch from some injury sustained in the process, and Ava asks if anyone has called into work for her during all of this. As if she’s really been on a vacation or something. HILARIOUS.
Literally life just goes on as normal. Ava has to meet with her lawyer (hey, Dave from Secrets and Lies, heyyy!) because she has all of these charges/lawsuits and the only way to stay out of prison is for her to go to SPA aka Spirit Possession Anonymous. Again, hilarious to me. Hilarious. All the while mom is telling her that this should be a wake up call that might have been started by her use of marijuana because “it IS a gateway drug, after all”!
Ava tries to prematurely dive right back into her life. She’s calling friends to hang out who are blatantly afraid and wary of being around her. She’s calling her boyfriend a thousand times who is clearly blowing her off. She’s going back to work where they’re shooting a music video for a song that’s clearly about her experience. At one point she even says something along the lines of, “I figure I’ll have everything taken care of in a week or so”. Seriously? Like she’s getting over a cold! Add in the fact that, of course, there’s still some issues remaining from the “uninvited spiritual guest” that she had all up in her body. (That’s what they had to call the demons when they were in SPA meetings because they couldn’t use the “d-word”). You can’t just go diving right back into every day life after that! C’mon now, Ava. C’mon.
Of course, as with any program of this nature, Ava has to make amends and come to terms with everything she did while she was possessed. That’s where things really start getting good as well as murky. This time period also included some surprising cameos such as Figueroa from OITNB playing a prostitute and Dr. Pryce from Hemlock Grove as her pimp. PA aka possessed Ava was a badass, people!
The only things I really wondered throughout this movie were:
- Does a break-up count if your boyfriend does it while you’re possessed? Is it null and void like if you say something while you’re blackout drunk?
- Was every other character in modern day while Ava was stuck in the mid to late 90s? The girl had crop tops, jean mini-skirts, claw clips, and 90s-ish shoes a’plenty!
- Why did she continuously go trapsing through shady parts of the city alone? Previously possessed does not mean invincible, indestructible, etc.
- How in the world can you cut up a body with a regular kitchen knife probably from Bed, Bath, & Beyond? You can’t go cutting human bones with something like Pampered Chef!
- How are you going to confess your feelings for someone while holding them at gun point? That kind of confession does not overshadow fear or stop a possible bullet.
- Does Ava own any actual full coverage shirts… at all?
Regardless of these mysteries, there were at least two pivotal twists that I actually did not see coming. Just when I thought things were anti-climatic, lame, and over… I was surprised again. That rarely happens!
I highly recommend this one if you’re into this kind of genre. It’s funny, interesting, and really a fresh idea at a time when there’s soooo many movies about this kind of thing.