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Now that staying at home is the current Facebook status for a lot of people, the challenge of how to see movies that either just came out or are about to come out poses a bit of a challenge. The folks at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas have come up with Alamo at Home, a partnership with smaller movie studios to get more modest yet lauded films into homes that may be streaming larger films on the bigger box platforms, thus rendering the indie films to relative anonymity these days. With a few clicks you can find yourself looking at a film that you may not have known about until recently, like when I heard about Extra Ordinary.
The Irish production was written and directed by Mike Ahern, and stars Maeve Higgins, who plays Rose Dooley, a driving instructor, but also has a past as a spiritual medium she is trying to put behind herself following the death of her father, who was also an authority on supernatural beings and events. She has two people vying for her services as a medium; the first being Martin Martin (Barry Ward, Blood Cells), a widower who has his wife's ghost pestering him on a daily basis, and the other is Christian Winter (Will Forte, Nebraska), a reformed heavy metal singer from America seeking the quiet life of Ireland with his wife Claudia (Claudia O'Doherty, Trainwreck) , though he doesn't appear to be giving up his past life of being a black magic-inspired music that easily, demanding virgins to sacrifice so he can regain his popularity.
The surface of Extra Ordinary is what would happen if Shaun of the Dead and The Exorcist were making love, and then Poltergeist and The Guard walked by in the middle of it, and if Ghostbusters owned the house where it all happened in. There is some charm of putting tongue in cheek while having your story set near the Irish and Celtic seas, and while people lose fingers or get hit by buses. The story never takes itself seriously and doesn't expect you to, just roll along with the laughs.
Along those same lines, Higgins is a delight as a pseudo-Alison Tolman, with the charm and the comic timing to boot. Forte is, for lack of a better expression, Forte, and when the two characters meet up for Christian's driving lesson, the result makes for moments of drawn out suspenseful laughter that the two pull off to good aplomb. The person who has to do the most work is Ward, who is regurgitating souls and does a hilarious impression of his wife with Rose's help because things get to that obvious point nicely.
Ultimately, Extra Ordinary is fairly ordinary, it isn't too distinguishable from other horror comedies like those before it, and then you are left to enjoy the work of the leads, and they are pleasantly revealing in their talents, particularly Higgins and Ward, and it leaves you smiling. You and your kids (if you have any) may be catching Onward now, but given the time later, throw some business the way of your local arthouse and give Extra Ordinary a try, I think you'll be satisfied.