Horror is a diverse genre that allows for all ranges of film that can fit many tastes. From brutally bloody slasher films to the psychological thriller, there are countless ways to take the core contents and play with the medium.
Extra Ordinary, on the other hand, from writer-director team Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, blends the tropes of the horror genre in a fun, quirky way to deliver a dry yet sweet comedy romp that will warm the heart of even the most cold-hearted terror aficionado.
Sick of her job, and where life has taken her, Rose Dooley (Maeve Higgins), a 30-something driving instructor, is hiding a dark secret about her past. Gifted with the ability to communicate and expel spirits, she has long lived in the shadow of her famous spiritualist father Vincent (Risteard Cooper), especially after a mysterious accident that took his life. Yet, even though she has left the life of ghosts behind her, the spirts and phone calls continue to haunt her daily routine.
As Rose struggles with her past and the life she hates, across town one-hit-wonder Christian Winter (Will Forte) aims to strike a deal with the devil to revive his music career. As he works to use the dark arts to regain his stardom, his wife Claudia (Claudia O’Doherty) berates him for his failures and his inability to make the ritual work as intended. With household patience wearing thin and time running out, Christian makes a last attempt to bring his dark purpose to climax.
With the ritual requiring a virgin sacrifice, Sarah Martin (Emma Coleman) is targeted, forcing her father and recent widower, Martin (Barry Ward), to call upon Rose and pull her out of retirement to thrust her back into the spiritual crosshairs to save Sarah. Through a series of misadventures and typical gross-out humour, Rose and Martin work to stop the evil plans of Christian Winter. While these two work to stop the forces of darkness, they will also find out that love is not far behind the ectoplasm.
The dry wit and fun, light-hearted humour makes what could have been a forgettable story into something much more interesting and endearing. Higgins is endearing as Rose, from her awkward desire to find love to the way she tries to escape her past. It is a fantastic performance that brings the character to life in a wholesomely inept way. The supporting cast brings the right level of small-town Irish charm and dry humour to make the experience fun throughout. Even the hammy performance of Will Forte works in the film, making Extra Ordinary a joy from start to finish.
Extra Ordinary is a charming film, one filled with heart and just the right level of horror. While it will not scare many and is exploring well-trodden ground, it does it in such a cozy, enjoyable way that it is hard not to recommend. Writer/Directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman have crafted a film filled with charm, fun, and great characters that wraps you like a warm blanket from start to finish.