Grimmfest 2019: Extra Ordinary

Extra Ordinary will be getting its English premiere at Grimmfest 2019. The screening will take place on Saturday 5th October at the ODEON Manchester Great Northern.

Tickets are still available here!


Sure to provide a brief moment of relief amongst the blood and gore of this year’s Grimmfest, Extra Ordinary is a supernatural comedy from writer-director duo Enda Loughman and Mike Ahern. In the world of Extra Ordinary, the dead are an ever-present force in the world, and it’s more likely the living that have trouble letting go of them than the other way around.

Maeve Higgins gives an outstanding comic performance as Rose Dooley, a driving instructor who wants to forget her childhood as an assistant to her psychic medium father. Meanwhile, Barry Ward plays Martin Martin, a single father haunted by the ghost of his wife. His supernatural spouse is a more or less benevolent spirit that strictly enforces his diet and reminds him to renew the car tax. When a washed-up rocker kidnaps Martin’s daughter for use in a sacrificial ritual, the unlikely pair must team up against the forces of evil.

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Saturday Night Live alumnus Will Forte is excellent as the precious and insufferable Christian Winter, an over-the-hill ’70s psychedelic crooner who has turned to the dark arts in an attempt to revive his career. A more competent villain can be found in his wife Claudia (Claudia O’Doherty), who is constantly at a loss over why they have to bother with all these candles and incantations when they could just murder people.

Extra Ordinary revels in its own oddity and manages to be surprising and charming throughout in equal measure. Despite the odd reference to The Devil Rides Out and The Exorcist, Extra Ordinary is very much its own beast. Even at its most absurd and off the wall, however, the film remains grounded by a winning and relatable performance from stand-up Maeve Higgins. The charming awkwardness of her budding relationship with Martin Martin is both funny and believable, even when the main hurdle they must overcome is a jealous ghost. It’s also a testament to the film’s direction that, despite the ideas on show, the film moves at an unhurried pace, allowing space for the characters to develop ahead of a special-effects-heavy finale.

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Other highlights include the sections in which we see Rose’s father sermonising in his VHS series on the supernatural. It’s a hit of fuzzy ’70s nostalgia, not dissimilar to Look Around You, and contains some very useful information, such as why you should never wake a floating goat.

Extra Ordinary is a unique film with a talented cast and poignant message at its heart. It’s sure to endear itself to a genre audience with its knowing allusions to tropes and traditions, but it’s its own eccentricities that make it stand out from the pack. Boasting only a bit of blood and guts, it might feel out of place at a horror festival, but it packs enough heart to hold its own on any bill.

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