Extra Ordinary | Chicago Reader
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Extra Ordinary

Extra Ordinary has a little bit of everything: demonic possession, vomitous ectoplasm, human sacrifice, haunted castles, a Stevie Nicks wannabe warlock, and a pothole that’s really a portal to hell. There’s plenty to applaud in this weirdo rom-com-horror-fantasy-adventure tale. Directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman have helmed a feel-good ghost story wherein evil (sauntering about in the worst Sonny Bono wig this side of the grave) is vanquished, love triumphs, and women call the shots both here and in the hereafter. It’s hilarious and gruesome, frivolous escapism at its finest. Set and filmed in Ireland, it also boasts one of the most relatable heroes on screen right now: Maeve Higgins, who plays a driving instructor with a talent for communing with the dead. The screenplay—by Ahern, Loughman and Demian Fox—is a delight whether it’s nattering on about spells and such (“Who would eat a baby? That’s just desperate”) or discussing the human condition (maybe “stuck, lonely” people are the real ghosts). At its heart is Higgins’s Rose Dooley, who accidentally killed her father in a supernatural traffic accident years previous. She’s called out of ghost-busting retirement by Martin Martin (Barry Ward), a widower whose late wife is still dictating everything from his eating habits to his wardrobe choices. Complications ensue when new age one-hit-wonder (“Cosmic Woman” is worthy of an Anti-Grammy) Christian Winter (Will Forte) and his Linda Blair-resembling wife (Claudia O’Doherty) attempt to gain favor with the Anti-Christ by offering up Martin’s daughter in exchange for a return to fame. What follows is a hoot full of exploding souls, blood moons, and exorcism adventures.

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