The reason there seems to be a plethora of horror-comedies is that the set up for both share a number of similarities. First comes a normal situation, followed by something that isn’t quite right, then the punchline, or scare, lands. Interestingly, there is less of a pervasive presence of a full-blown comedy that uses horror trappings. They do exist, to be sure, they are just rarer than movies trying to balance both. Co-writers and co-directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman keep this subgenre alive and well with Extra Ordinary (yes, it is two words).
As a child, Rose Dooley (Agatha Ellis) and her father Vincent (Risteard Cooper) hosted a paranormal program where they attempted to help people who were experiencing the unexplained. Vincent could channel the spirits into his body, and Rose could talk to them. They did this until a terrible accident involving a dog, a magpie, and a sewer demon killed Vincent.
Decades later, Rose (Maeve Higgins) is now a driving instructor, having left that side of her life behind after the tragedy. She’s incredibly close with her pregnant sister Sailor (Terri Chandler) and no one else. In her small Irish town, Martin (Barry Ward) and his teenage daughter Sarah (Emma Coleman) are being haunted by their departed wife/ mom. This ghost chooses what clothes they’ll wear, their diet, she seems to have control issues in general.
Sarah is at her wit’s end and convinces her dad to call Rose for help. Shortly after that, 1980s one-hit wonder Christian Winter (Will Forte) uses his occult magic to track down a virgin to sacrifice on the blood moon to regain the fame and wealth he once had. Now, Martin and Rose must save an unconscious, floating Sarah, whom Christian chose for the ritual. The duo must travel all over town excising ghosts to collect seven jars of ectoplasm to cast a specific spell.
“…the duo must travel all over town excising ghosts to collect seven jars of ectoplasm to cast a specific spell.”
Extra Ordinary begins with an episode of the show Vincent and Rose hosted together. Vincent goes on about the varying strength of ghosts determines the sort of objects they can haunt; save for cheese. Cheese and ghosts are made of the same stuff, so it is incredibly easy for all ghosts to haunt cheeses. These ridiculous claims are presented with the most second rate, public access production value imaginable; and I was riotously laughing the whole time.
The script is, and the gags come at a fast and furious pace. Christian uses a special wooden staff to help him find the right person for the sacrifice; it is adorned with a giant penis and an ancient demon at the base. For him to use it, he has to pick up, say a short incantation then drop the stick. It will point in the right direction, so he walks up to one end of it, picks back and repeats the whole process. It is as absurd as it sounds and it is hysterical.
"…the gags come at a fast and furious pace."
[…] consistently funny in a pleasingly off-kilter way,” says Dennis Harvey in Variety. In Film Threat, Bobby LePire thinks that anyone expecting scares will be disappointed, but everyone else will be […]
[…] consistently funny in a pleasingly off-kilter way,” says Dennis Harvey in Variety. In Film Threat, Bobby LePire thinks that anybody anticipating scares will probably be upset, however everybody […]