Sometimes it is the films you are most hesitant about that prove to be filled with the biggest heart, humor and horror. Madison Hatfield and Jono Mitchell‘s Courtney Gets Possessed is one of those films, opening with a rocky and uncertain beginning, yet solidifying itself as an unforgettable, devilishly delightful deal with the devil.

The Best Kind of Possession

In its opening moments, Courtney Gets Possessed matches the emotional uncertainty of its leading character. Viewers meet Courtney (Lauren Buglioli) as she looks on from a distance as her cousin marries her ex, her grief overwhelming and leaving the audience feeling as though they are trespassing on an unknown history. These feelings are further compounded as Courtney’s sister Kaitlyn (Madison Hatfield) sits beside her, offering support but met with brutal disdain as we learn she too has taken past boyfriends from Courtney. Emotionally, it is a rough opening, leaving us feeling more intrusive and confused, rather than horrified and intrigued. Enter Dave.

source: TriCoast Entertainment

Jonathan Pawlowski owns his role as Dave from the moment he walks on screen. There is a savvy sway to each movement he makes and every word he utters. And while his introduction is brief, it is memorable, working to build the initial intrigue of the film’s opening moments. As the film transitions five years later, with Courtney now having found love of her own, Dave’s return only further heightens this intrigue. And while the title and his reemergence may leave some predictability to his overall role in the film, Pawlowski will hold the audience in his grasp, keeping them locked in until the heart of the horror can become fully established and releasing them only when his business has concluded. Pawlowski is not only the film’s stand out, but is assured to acquire accolades in need of a Dave-centric sequel.

Yet, as memorable as Pawlowski is, Zae Jordan‘s Glenn works well to steal the spotlight. Where Pawlowski‘s Dave is a standout, Jordan‘s Glenn matches both in spirit and energy, giving a deeper depth and layer to the film and its tale of devilish possession. Jordan completely encompasses the subtly of nuanced performance, elevating beyond the dialogue to fully bring the film full circle. While Dave may have you at both the film’s beginning and end, Glenn holds the film’s core.

Courtney Gets Possessed works to marry both the comedy and the horror. As the bridesmaids and Courtney head home for a final night of singledom, the film takes a moment to introduce each of their personalities and intricacies, many subtle nuances of self working well to heighten the humor later on. And while audiences will find they may still be unsure of the direction Courtney Gets Possessed is taking them, once Courtney and her friends join hands to unknowingly cast a protection spell, audiences will find themselves enchanted as well.

source: TriCoast Entertainment

From this moment on, Courtney Gets Possessed finds its legs, its opening morphing into a campy feel, the remainder of the film embracing each horror and comedic trope with brilliant execution and entertaining suave. One of the elements that works well is an 80s vibe that is subtly thread through the core of the film, living in both style and subtle homages to 80s classics Nightmare on Elm Street and Beetlejuice. Honestly, a strong case could be made for Courtney Gets Possessed being the perfect double feature pairing with Nahnatchka Khan‘s Totally Killer. Yet, this is not a film set in the past but aware of what a horror comedy could be in the present.

Courtney Gets Possessed further finds success in both its dialogue and the committed cast that brings it to life. I would be remised if I didn’t mention how cheesy Courtney Gets Possessed can be at times – but it is what makes the film work so well. It is aware of the premise and its direction, leaning into a fun and horrific nature of devilish means, reaching for the one liners and leaning into the absurd. The cast matches its awareness to dialogue and story, giving every ounce of commitment. Many times, much of the film’s humor comes not just from what is spoken, but from what is shown. A slamming of a door, a raised eyebrow and all-knowing glance culminate into the perfect blend of humor, horror and even a bucket of organs.


As Courtney Gets Possessed begins, there is some hesitation and uncertainty. But hold tight. With a campy feel to its beginning, Courtney Gets Possessed will bind you to its celluloid core, delivering one of the most fun and entertaining possessions the devil has to offer.

Courtney Gets Possessed was released on VOD on November 3, 2023!

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