REVIEW: EXTRA ORDINARY is a fun and quirky supernaturally tinged comedy.


Writer/Director team Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman channel the spirit of early Edgar Wright and Taika Waititi films in this endearing comedy about a failed ghosthunting medium turned driving school instructor.

The Cornetto Trilogy by Edgar Wright is one of my favorite series of English comedy films. Applying the conventions of genre fare onto the lives of everyday people and seeing how they might deal with it in a salt of the earth sort of way creates this very relatable style of humor that makes you wonder about genre tropes and exercises your funny bone and that area in your head that loves to critically analyze. From juxtaposing the loss of a bad relationship to the loss of all life in Shaun of the Dead to the suffocation of conformity as one ages compared to the conformity of alien robot clones in The World’s End, there’s a reason that films like that work.

Writer/directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman pour that same kind of creativity into EXTRA ORDINARY, which largely follows Rose Dooley (comedian Maeve Higgins), the daughter of famed 80’s television psychic ghost hunter Vincent Dooley (Risteard Cooper) who the audience meets through VHS recordings of popular episodes of his show from the ’80s. Rose blames herself for her father’s untimely death and chooses to hide her psychic talents by channeling herself into her driving school for teens. Her simple little life is shaken up when she is contacted by Martin Martin (Barry Ward), whose daughter Sarah has been targeted for a Satanic virgin sacrifice at the hands of Christian Winter (Will Forte), a former one-hit wonder new-age artist who plans to sacrifice Sarah to the demon Astaroth to regain a successful career as a recording artist.

While the plot is a lot of fun, its the performances that really make it work. Higgins is great as the reluctant psychic hero, who must use Ward’s Martin to accept possession by wayward ghosts in order to collect ectoplasm to free his daughter from Christian’s influence. Forte steals the movie as his Christian Winter is the epitome of reluctant satanist but will do anything to regain his fame and rid himself of his talentless assistant/wife Claudia (Claudia O’Doherty), who also lights up the film with he random acts of violence throughout the film. But its largely the banter between Higgins and Ward that makes the film work, along with the film’s great cinematography and stylized visual effects. It channels the unique voice of the early films of Wright and Waititi while giving us a new voice in the vein of folksy individual genre comedy. If you enjoy seeing a new creative voice in a film with genuine laughs and approachable characters, give Extra Ordinary a try.