Extra Ordinary - Grimmfest 2019
Directed by Mike Ahern & Enda Loughman
Extra Ordinary follows Rose (Maeve Higgins), a sweet yet lonely driving instructor in rural Ireland. Her life is pretty monotonous, apart from the fact she is hounded everyday by attention seeking spirits, locals who have problems with possessed dustbins and other haunted inanimate objects. She is stuck in the shadow of her ‘Ghost Whisperer’ father and the guilt she feels for accidentally killing him. Not only is this film packed with an abundance of personality, it is also fantastically written and quite literally breathes new life into the Horror/Comedy genre.
Rose Dooley is the heart and soul of this movie (pardon the pun). She is reserved, reclusive and lacking confidence in herself, yet outstandingly funny with great comic timing. Maeve Higgins brings so much to the role; her awkward try hard personality is so believable and so vulnerable that every beat feels natural, even when she is speaking completely hilarious nonsense. Innocent and adorable, you hang on her every word and want desperately for her to find happiness. Despite her absence of any true love in the story she certainly had my heart by the end and is truly a charming character. But to say she carried the film would be a lie; it is by far a collaborative effort between Rose, Martin and Christian.
Martin Martin (Barry Ward) hires Rose to help him with his wife, a wife who haunts him from the afterlife in the most mundane ways possible. Whether it be reminding Martin to pay the tax, worm the dog or abuse him for eating a doughnut, she is always on his case and he has had enough of it. Rose and Martin make a fantastic team, joining forces to tackle haunted individuals around town, which amusingly involves Martin being possessed and vomiting up ectoplasm. Barry Ward is fantastic and delivers humour with ease, standing up as a crucial and tremendous addition to the cast. His deadpan approach to comedy only serves to heighten amusement levels and when he undertakes a possession, you can see he absolutely enjoys every minute of it and so did I.
Last but not least Will Forte is Christian Winter, a washed up rock star who is trying to obtain his fame again using what else - but virgin sacrifice. A satanic mix of Ron Burgundy and Wile E. Coyote, Christian will do what it takes to get his virgin, no matter the side-splitting obstacles in his way. Will Forte is absolutely priceless, his jokes land every time and his physical comedy is to die for. From his gibberish incantations to a scene which involves him having a driving lesson. All was pure genius that had me in tears the whole way through. His performance is frankly standout and it very well may have made the film.
As a whole Extra Ordinary is really impressive, from the cast to its script. Even the way it was shot is unique, almost a character in itself, bringing energy to every shot. Interjected throughout the film we also enjoy short clips of Rosie’s father and his retro video’s ‘Introduction to the Talents’, providing colour to this unique world in which ghosts possess objects such as rocks and toasters. It is no doubt a devilishly fun film, full of spirit and killer comedy.