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Extra Ordinary Movie Review

Written by Joanna K. Neilson

Released by Wildcard Distribution

Extra Ordinary Poster Large

Directed by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman
Written by Mike Ahern, Demian Fox, Maeve Higgins and Enda Loughman
2019, 94 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
Released on 25th October 2019

Starring:
Maeve Higgins as Rose Dooley
Barry Ward as Martin Martin
Will Forte as Christian Winter
Claudia O'Doherty as Claudia Winter
Jamie Beamish as Brian Welsh

Review:

Sinister magpies and shallow Satanists are at large in a humdrum Irish village, a homely place that appears to only have one driving instructor - the lonely Rose Dooley - who doubles as the local psychic. Only she’s long-since hung up her ouija board after her father’s unusual death, and vowed never to touch the paranormal again. This is unfortunate, as ghosts seem to live around every corner - in their quiet, usually very subtle ways. But a much deeper evil is lurking in the peace and quiet. And it's wielding a 'virgin detector' stick and a highly suspect mop of 1970s hair.

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Because while Rose’s town seems idyllic, the tax-dodging, washed-up music star Christian Winter and his fantastically blunt wife Claudia are up to no good. Living in a huge castle near the village, and intending to hold onto that lifestyle, the selfish pair hope that a deal with a devil will resurrect Christian’s music career, and think nothing of sacrificing a virgin girl on the upcoming blood moon to do it. Or they would be - if things hadn’t gone messily wrong just a few days before the deadline.

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Their hunt for a new sacrifice leads them into Rose’s path, and soon it’s a race against the clock for Rose to get over her earlier traumas, and rescue the poor girl from certain doom. The girl's father, the incredibly named 'Martin Martin' will also do anything it takes to save his daughter, and how he and Rose set about their crucial mission is a highly enjoyable ride. Part League of Gentlemen, part Derry Girls, the references to well-known horror movies are just gleeful enough, while never smothering the overall story. It also delights in the fuzziness of early VHS tapes, using inserts from a paranormal series of these to provide a useful Greek chorus that teeters perfectly between silliness and tragedy.

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Horror and comedy can be a tough blend. Too often it can veer too far into one or the other - or, even worse, manages neither. Extra Ordinary is a refreshingly sweet horror-comedy that deals a deathly blow to the recent glut of dark possession movies, doling out spookiness with just enough grounded humour, tragedy, and surreal, deadpan daffiness. These are characters you can get behind as they battle, or call upon, the forces of darkness - though the demon itself could be a little more intimidating - this still leans more towards humour than horror. But you'll have a great time on the way to the final battle.

And in the meantime, watch out for possessed cheeses and sinister magpies - and never trust a washed-up musician in a fancy cloak - especially one wielding a very suspiciously shaped walking stick...

Grades:

Movie: Fourstars Extra Ordinary Poster Small
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About The Author
Joanna K Neilson
Staff Reviewer
Favourite film ever watched is Alien (1979), but usually prefers to ingest her horror with a dollop of comedy relief…though the dusty charm of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1971) and the black and white lure of Psycho (1960) continues to draw her in. Found Baskin weirdly hilarious. Finds Finding Nemo godawful. Adores H.P. Lovecraft and has sort-of pilgrimed to his grave in Providence - very tidy. Very long walk. Half-expected cats and cultists to be set up all around it but sadly, just signs saying ‘no photos’ in the cemetery.
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