Review by Camden Ferrell
Extra Ordinary is a horror-comedy that had its premiere at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. This film is the feature-length directorial debut for directing team Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman. This movie boasts a lot of quirkiness and a great performance from Will Forte to make up for the narrative lag at times.
In this movie, Rose, a driving instructor, must use her supernatural abilities to save a girl from a washed-up musician and his satanic pact. This story is highly original, and it’s extremely eccentric. The movie mostly capitalizes on the wackiness of its premise, and it’s one that gives the film a unique voice.
The writing of the film is fairly funny throughout. It’s full of awkward and witty dialogue that subverts a lot of the expectations of a horror movie. There is a lot of entertaining banter between its characters, and the subject matter adds another layer of comedy to these moments. There is a lot to admire in the ambition of this film and how it incorporates both genres and creates fitting dialogue for it.
The best part of this movie is its performances. Maeve Higgins and Barry Ward both do adequate jobs as the film’s two main protagonists. They have a natural chemistry, and they both handle the material very well. However, the real scene-stealer is Will Forte as the film’s antagonist. This is the kind of wacky character for which Forte is known for. Forte is given the ability to really embrace the eccentricity of his character, and this leads to some of the funniest moments throughout the movie.
Unfortunately, there are noticeable lags whenever Forte isn’t on screen. There are abrupt shifts in the movie’s tone and pace that can make the film feel unbalance and a little off putting. These problems aren’t frequent, but they occur often enough to be noticeable. Typically, the performances can help alleviate the effects of the narrative lag, but it is a problem nonetheless.
The movie also sometimes has problems with timing its humor. While the script is well-written, its execution can often leave more to be desired. It’s not bad at all, but some jokes linger a little too long and disrupt the timing of the rest of the scene. It is a subtle problem, but it is one that reoccurs too much for comfort.
Despite these flaws, this is still a highly original movie that is unpredictable and fairly enjoyable. Its final act escalates into some comedic levels of insanity that are equal parts absurd and clever. Even if the film doesn’t provide many scares, it does have a lot of charisma working in its favor.
Extra Ordinary shows promise for its directing duo, and it’s another stellar performance for Will Forte. There are many problems with the movie’s pacing, but it is still an undeniably original and entertaining horror-comedy.
Extra Ordinary is in select theaters March 6th.