REVIEW — “Extra Ordinary”
Horror-comedy is one of my favorite sub-genres of film. Whether it be something like Fright Night or The Cabin in the Woods that leans more-so into its horror themes or films like Ghostbusters or What We Do in the Shadows that lean more into the comedy, it’s always full of vast potential for gold as you can dig from two of peoples’ favorite genres. In fact, it’s so ideal in my eyes that I’m puzzled why we don’t get more of them. Extra Ordinary is a breath of fresh air in the midst of the horror-craze as of late. It simply doesn’t take itself too seriously, in fact – it almost operates as a parody of the genre. But what is most fascinating is that while making fun of the genre, it still puts its characters and story at the forefront. It’s a fairly impressive feat and it works quite well throughout.
The film follows Rose (Maeve Higgins) a driving instructor who has the ability to speak to the dead; but tries to repress her abilities due to some past trauma. Martin (Barry Ward) is still dealing with the death of his wife in a pretty counter-productive way, and thus crosses paths with Rose. Throw in the evil plans of a one-hit-wonder musician named Christian (Will Forte) making a deal with the devil, and you have a complicated thread of grief, spooks, and most of all – laughs. Everyone previously mentioned does fantastic work in this film. Will Forte is the biggest name and is as hilarious as you’d come to expect him to be. But Higgins and Ward have genuinely great chemistry with one another and their relationship is what keeps the film grounded amongst the absurdity of the comedy and horror surrounding them.
Another genuinely impressive factor here is all the practical effects and gore. In the highest of compliments, I could tell that this film had a minimal budget. But it’s so admirable how you can tell that they made every cent count. Especially in the third act, there are some genuinely impressive sequences that I wonder how they pulled off so modestly. And speaking of the third act, it is absolutely nuts! I was enjoying this for a majority of its runtime, but it goes full absurdist at the end and fully throws itself into its concepts and themes. This might turn some viewers off who don’t appreciate absurdism, but I found it delightfully and wickedly funny. The entire film is so committed to its own style and lore, and you can’t help but appreciate it.
Not all of the jokes land as much as they probably intended, but even when they don’t, the film still has so much charm and entertainment value that you can’t help but enjoy yourself. Directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, who also wrote the film, have crafted a genuinely clever and surprisingly thoughtful and emotional horror-romp that will delightfully surprise audiences.
Check it out in theaters this March!