Ireland, Belgium, Finland, UK.
Director: Mike Ahem, Enda Loughman
Cast: Maeve Higgins (Rose), Barry Ward (Martin), Will Forte (Christian Winter)
A comedy-horror film from Ireland. This already strange combination makes Extra Ordinary an intriguing option. Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman direct and write this unusual film parodying horror movies and demonic possessions in particular. There are multiple references to one of the most emblematic films on the subject: The Exorcist. Sure, all with very Irish humor.
Three weird leads.
Our three main characters do not know each other though they share a close relationship with the supernatural. Rose is a middle-aged bachelor who teaches driving lessons but is gifted with psychic abilities. But because of a fatal incident deadly to her father, she decided to turn her back on these abilities. Martin is a widower who shares his home with his daughter Sarah and the dominant and controlling ghost of his deceased wife.
And finally, we have Christian Winter, a limited singer of the so-called One Hit Wonder kind, desperate to have another chart success. So much is his desperation that he and his frivolous wife spent what was left of his money on magical books. They are willing to perform a ceremony to sell his soul to a demonic entity to ensure another musical success. The problem is that Winter needs a virgin for this ceremony, and this will lead him directly to Sarah.
Immediately at the beginning of the film, we can see their funny intentions and the somewhat deadpan humor that the narrative will have. The appearances and the occasional bloodshed are all presented humorously, a tone consistent throughout the film. The story has a great first act when introducing characters and situations. Something on the level of Shaun of Dead humor is the expectation. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In the second act, the film drags a little. It is until the third act, in the final part, that absurdity reaches new levels, almost meeting the expectations raised at the beginning.
The acting is notably funny.
What stands out the most about Extra Ordinary are the exceptional performances of its three leads. Maeve Higgins, who also participated in the script, is the insecure but resourceful Rose. Barry Ward plays the bullied and rigid Martin but funnily excels when representing the personalities of the souls that take possession of his body, revealing great versatility. He’s hilarious as the chain smoker Bonnie. Will Forte outlandishly portrays the ludicrous Christian Winter’s pretense of refinement and culture. Some cheap special effects are playfully present to go along with the humor, and the ones that require a higher level of production are well executed.
Breaking own rules.
Extra Ordinary is an enjoyable addition to the Comedy Horror genre. The humor is constant, but there are also no great laughs or memorable moments. Sometimes they forget their own rules that they establish in the story, whether intentionally or not. It feels like they tried to bring more elements into the story than they can handle. But the three leads are great, quirky, and fresh approach with a very particular brand of humor make this Irish production a well-deserving watch.
Consistently funny, but there are peaks and valleys in the rhythm. Great comical performances by the three leads. A showcase for the peculiar Irish sense of humor.