Rose Dooley, Maeve Higgins (“The Rainbow Bridge Motel”, “The Babymooners”), runs a driving school in rural Ireland, but that’s not her real talent, not by a long way.
Rose’s father, Vincent Dooley, Risteard Cooper (“Batman Begins”, “No Offence (TV)”), was a famous exorcist who made countless VHS tapes about his special talents, many of which featured a young Rose, who also had her own version of his talents with the dead.
But disaster strikes when Rose struggles to control her father when he’s inhabited by a dog and a possessed pothole. She blames herself for what happens and vows never to use her talents again.
Enter Martin Martin, Barry Ward (“Maze”, “The End Of The F***ing World (TV)”), who calls Rose on the premise of a driving lesson, but really wants help with his dead wife who is still living with him and telling him what to wear, even what to eat.
Rose refuses, she doesn’t do that anymore. However, things take a turn when local one-hit-wonder, one-time celebrity Christian Warner, Will Forte (“Nebraska”, “The Laundromat“), attempts to find a local virgin sees him taking Warner’s daughter Sarah, Emma Coleman.
Warner is looking for a sacrifice to make, in order to imbue him with talent in order to complete his latest album and take him back to the top of the charts. Only Rose and Martin stand his way, but first they must gather the ectoplasm from seven ghosts, which have to possess Martin.
The film was directed by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman (“The Hatch (Short)”, “Mr Foley (Short)”), who also wrote the movie with some additional writing by Demian Fox (“Red Rock (TV)”, “Discoverdale”) and Maeve Higgins.
The film is an absolute blast, think Ghostbusters if the Ghostbusters had been a reluctant, quiet driving instructor. It’s consistently funny, with fantastic direction from both Ahern and Loughman.
The film looks like it’s set in the late eighties or early nighties and it is all the better for it. The old Fiesta Rose drives or the simple and plain clothes all the characters wear, it all works. And whilst you may expect this to be a low-budget flick with shoddy CGI, think again, the CGI is more than appropriate for the film, it isn’t shoddy and it works.
Forte is great as the evil one who just wants his talent back. He’s thwarted at all turns but ploughs on regardless, going to any lengths he can. And Higgins is delightful as Rose, constantly misunderstood, usually as the result of her saying the wrong thing.
But the kudos must go to Ward. As the two travel around to find the ectoplasm he is inhabited by all manner of people and things and Ward transforms himself into them all with aplomb. His version of his wife, who he has to flip between a lot, is brilliant.
Extra Ordinary is a superb film. It’s quietly funny, funnily awkward and superbly directed and performed.
Extra Ordinary screened at Grimmfest 2019 in Manchester on Saturday 5th October at 7pm and, as yet, has no general release date across the UK or US but if you get the chance, watch it.