Friday, March 6, 2020

Extra Ordinary

Extra Ordinary has the advantages and disadvantages one would expect from a writing and directing team working on their first feature. There's certainly style and out-of-box thinking on display here, although the film is still quite rough around the edges.

We're offered two stories that will eventual intertwine. The first, and more successful, involves lonely Irish driving instructor Rose Dooley (Maeve Higgins) whose paranormal powers she has been afraid to use since childhood. Meeting a likable-enough bloke (Barry Ward), who has troubles both with a home haunted by his deceased wife and a daughter (Claudia O'Doherty) under possession, forces Rose to dig back into her childhood skills (and pull out the old VCR tapes of her father's paranormal infomercials).

The movie's other story ties into possessed Claudia (O'Doherty) whose current plight was caused by one-hit wonder Christian Winter (Will Forte) hoping that sacrificing a virgin to Satan will provide him with inspiration for another hit. It's in Forte's segments that the film veers closest to going off-course, but Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman keep things on track.

There's more comedy than horror here, but both are represented in this low-budget exploration of the paranormal that finds a way to turn some of its weaknesses into strengths (such as the fun old-school VCR lessons which are used throughout the movie). While some of Forte's scenes are allowed to run on a bit too long, Higgins and Ward are quite charming together and could easily carry a more standard romantic comedy. The off-beat humor and awkward characters work to help define the film's tone that ultimately succeeds on winning over the audience due mainly to Higgins and Ward even as the odd story begins to become more predictable in its final act.

No comments: