Extra Ordinary (4 stars)

Extra Ordinary

Will Forte features in this super cute supernatural comedy set in rural Ireland

Fusing the humdrum and otherworldly in a way that's both cute and comedic, Extra Ordinary is the feature debut from Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman. Set in the kind of oddball-heavy rural Ireland beloved by Father Ted et al, it sees a psychic driving instructor team up with a bereaved woodwork teacher to take on the dark forces wielded by a one-hit-wonder singer.

If it sounds batty, it most certainly is. The enjoyably understated Maeve Higgins (on whose stand-up persona her character is based) plays Rose Dooley, a lonely lady whose late father, Vincent (Risteard Cooper, the owner of a marvellous voice), was a big deal in the paranormal community before an incident involving a haunted pot-hole, and who has evidently inherited his talents.

Barry Ward (Jimmy's Hall) plays Martin Martin, who is already tangling with the fecked-off ghost of his late wife when his daughter Sarah (Emma Coleman) is mysteriously possessed. American comedian Will Forte brings a bit of star power and his usual voracious appetite for silliness as ignominious warbler Christian Winter, who has never been able to replicate the success of his lame but phenomenally popular hit 'Cosmic Woman', and has turned to satanic rituals in order to bargain his fame back.

Although very much of Irish extraction, Extra Ordinary errs towards an almost Kiwi-esque sense of absurdity (underseen horror comedy Housebound springs most immediately to mind), while its brand of naff heroism recalls Mindhorn. The script absolutely teems with terrific lines ('Even the weakest ghost can possess cheese quite easily'), delivered with deadpan brilliance by the cast. There's a memorable cameo from Derry Girls' Siobhan McSweeney, in bitterly dismissive mode, while Love's Claudia O'Doherty also gamely features.

Ahern and Loughman steep their film in the supernatural but never aspire to scare you. Instead, Rose and Martin are a quintessentially hapless, yet highly endearing twosome being affectionately nudged together. Even as it builds to a truly batshit conclusion, Extra Ordinary keeps the adorability coming; 'I'll whittle you a spoon when this is all done,' Martin promises Rose in a film more fussed about romantic happiness than hair-raising horror.

Available to watch on Netflix now.

Extra Ordinary

  • 4 stars
  • 2019
  • Ireland / Belgium
  • 1h 34min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman
  • Cast: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia O'Doherty

Psychic driving instructor Rose (Higgins) is called in to investigate Sarah (Coleman), the mysteriously possessed daughter of baaved woodwork teacher Martin (Ward). Wonderfully absurd supernatural comedy set in Ireland, teeming with terrific lines and played with deadpan brilliance by a fine cast.

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