October 7, 2019

VIFF 2019 | Ghost Hunters – Investigating the 'Extra Ordinary'

"Who ya gonna call?"
VIFF 2019Extra Ordinary, first-time filmmakers Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman's supernatural Irish horror-comedy about ghosts and demons, is a delightfully weird adventure with some really clever laughs wrapped in a familiar but well-executed paranormal storyline.

Like a budget indie Irish version of Ghostbusters by way of The Exorcist, the film stars comedian Maeve Higgins as a quirky driving instructor cursed with the gift or "talent" of ghost whispering inherited from her notorious ghost-hunting father (Risteárd Cooper). She's tasked with saving the daughter (Emma Coleman) of a haunted widowed father (Barry Ward) before she's sacrificed to evil demons.

Enter American and Australian funny people Will Forte and Claudia O’Doherty, who hilariously play the villains of the story as a pop one-hit wonder and his foul wife living in a castle across town, are scene-stealers in their supporting roles that should distract but make the whole ridiculous thing work somehow.

Will Forte Mike Ahern Enda Loughman | Extra Ordinary | VIFF 2019

The filmmakers make all the inner workings of the film so warm and inviting despite some genuine bloody thrills and gruesome violence. Extra Ordinary's shaggy style is hammered by the detailed production design featuring boxy television sets, VHS recordings, old school cell phones, and a general lo-fi asthetic.

Ahern and Loughman lovingly both mock and adhere to the various paranormal movie genre staples. Extra Ordinary is a pretty fun ride with charming performances set in an offbeat small-town Irish locale. The ghostly film balances its horror theatrics with some really witty comedy blending genres and cinematic influences ably. Its retro throwback vintage sheen makes it feel altogether endearing beyond the supernatural premise.

Extra Ordinary screened at the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival as part of the Altered States (ALT) stream at the Rio Theatre and also screens at the 2019 Vancouver Irish Film Festival at Vancity Theatre on December 1st.

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