Extra Ordinary is a charming quirky feelgood horror film with the necessary gore.
Extra Ordinary is a supernatural occult horror comedy film that wins you over with its charm and quirky characters. With deadpan humor, some cheesy humor and a lot of quirky and endearing hilarious moments, this is a delightful unconventional film. With unusual characters, weird events unlike you have ever seen before but still refer to other genre movies, a creative structure and a nostalgic feel, this film is a little gem that deserves a big audience.
Rose lives in a small town in Ireland and is a driving instructor. Her father was a famous psychic who even had his own tv show which also starred Rose as a teenager as his partner with her own special talent. But after a disastrous accident in which her father died, she turned her back on that old life never to use her talent again.
Till Martin Martin calls her to help him with his deceased wife who is still living in the house and controls his life. After Rose turned him down, Sarah, Martin’s daughter falls under an occult spell of a one-hit wonder artist Christian Winter who wants to revive his career with satanism. Now Rose has to face her old trauma, help Martin and Sarah and hopefully get a relationship out of it, to boot.
Why you should watch it
Extra Ordinary is a charming endearing film with a most quirky main character. Rose isn’t exactly your standard main character. She’s pretty extraordinary in multiple ways. She’s a refreshing lead, who doesn’t have a life she’s particularly content with nor has she processed her childhood trauma very well. She has locked it, quite literally behind a door in her house. She’s an easy character to root for. She’s lovable and sweet, a bit odd but also a bit tragic. And she wishes she was anything but extraordinary. Rose is portrayed by Maeve Higgins in an excellent way and she is the star of the film.
The story is told in a very playful way. With intermezzo’s of her father’s tv show that refer to what is happening right now has a very nostalgic feel. It adds to the quirkiness of the main theme but also connects Rose to her father. The editing is snappy and feels fresh and increases the comical moments with great timing. As do the music and cinematography that really add to the unique voice and atmosphere that is completely in line with Rose’s character.
The humor is off-kilter and has its original moments. Especially when Bonnie still controls the life of Martin and later on in the film he even gets possessed by her. That transformation is a delight to watch and Barry Ward who portrays Marin revels in it.
The ghosts bring a lot of fun to the film, especially when seen through the eyes of Rose, when white sheets walk on the sidewalks. The mythology behind it is original and fun and it often refers to other ghost movies and even The Exorcist. These are great nods that are creatively put into the story, making it completely their own.
But the humor can be a bit cheesy at times as well. Namely Christian Winter the one-hit
wonder winter, the satanist is a bit too much, his bits are sometimes a hit and miss. But he is just a functional figure who pushes the story forward. Also the ending can be a bit over the top campy, and walks a fine line between camp and cheesiness.
The main story is all about Rose. Rose who has to come to terms with herself and her father, who seeks love and affirmation and who has to embrace her talent. That part of the film is brilliantly done. It’s fun, it’s original, it’s a totally fresh take on ghost hunting and exorcism and has a unique voice of its own that takes special care of its endearing characters. Sometimes it can be a bit predictable, particularly the little twists, but that’s part of the charm. And sometimes it’s anything but predictable and surprises you with an absurdist incident.
Extra Ordinary is a comedy, a romance, bit of a horror and above all a feelgood film with unconventional characters, quirky humor and with a big heart.
My favorite part
Both the deaths of Rose’s father and Martin’s wife Bonnie are a hoot. When they start to talk about those traumatic events, it’s nothing you would have expected and so hilariously absurd and deadpan comical. And the way they both tell it, causing an even more awkward moment between them is comical, tragic and you really want them to be happy, preferably with each other.
The most hilarious deadpan scene is the car chase, at a speed of 1 mile per hour. An enchanted Sarah is floating through the streets and Rose, Martin, Sailor and Brian are following her in the car, when they get passed by Christian and his wife Claudia in their car and then the race is on, very slowly. Humor is a lot about timing and about how it is shown, and they absolutely nailed this one. And it gets even better when Claudia gets sick of it and grabs Sarah by the ankle and drives off at a high speed, causing Sarah to float like a balloon behind the car. Well, it’s just something you have to see for yourself.
But the absolute best part is the chemistry between Rose and Martin who are attracted to each others extraordinary quirkiness. It’s all about being yourself, accepting yourself and each other for who they are and this is perfectly executed, creating a wonderful funny film.
Fun factor: ★★★★☆
Gore factor: ★★★☆☆
Originality factor: ★★★★☆
Entertainment factor: ★★★★★
Cast and crew
Extra Ordinary is directed and written by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman. It stars Maeve Higgins (Rose Dooley), Barry Ward (Martin Martin), Will Forte (Christian Winter), Claudia O’Doherty (Claudia Winter), Emma Coleman (Sarah Martin), Terri Chandler (Sailor Dooley), Jamie Beamish (Brian Welsh) and Risteárd Cooper (Vincent Dooley).
Duration: 94 minutes. Music: George Brennan. Cinematography: James Mather. Edited by: Gavin Buckley. Produced by: Ailish Bracken, Yvonne Donohoe, Katie Holly, Mary McCarthy. Production company: Blinder Films. Distributed by: Wildcard Distribution, Cranked Up Films.