Ghosts are just ordinary people who have died. Surely, that means they are all around us, right? Extra Ordinary starts with this quirky concept and adds satanism, post-domestic abuse, and driving school experience to turn the weirdness up to eleven. The film’s weirdness isn’t its only trick, however, because Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman’s film is roaringly funny despite that.
Rose (Maeve Higgins) is a driving instructor trying to run away from her past by leaving her job as a paranormal investigator. Martin (full name: Martin Martin) is a widower whose now-ex-wife still hasn’t “gotten the message”, dictating his life from beyond the grave. His daughter’s insistence for him to do something about this unfinished business brings him to Rose. Meanwhile, pop star Christian Winter (Will Forte) is trying to procure a virgin to sacrifice to the devil for a resurrection of his career.
Higgins isn’t a great actor, so her performance is often a little flat. There are also some issues with the climax and the film’s uncomfortable pacing – some important scenes are sped through with no real reasoning. But, Extra Ordinary has a very clever sense of humour; mixing bits of gallows humour, gross-out humour, and cringe humour to create a fresh and memorable comedy. A fun flick that gets laughs out of dated VHS tapes, not-so-subtle movie references, and protracted sequences involving gloves.
For their feature-length debut, Extra Ordinary is a great vehicle for Ahern and Loughman to showcase (and improve on) their unique and promising filmmaking.
After a sold-out Toronto premiere, Extra Ordinary receives an encore screening at Toronto After Dark on Saturday, October 19 at 11:30 pm at Scotiabank Theatre.
For more information on the festival, visit the official Toronto After Dark website.
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