If you are undecided between watching a comedy or a horror, I have a 2019 movie that is perfect for your need, Extra Ordinary.
This crazy fantasy story takes place in a small Irish village where the lovely woman protagonist lives.
Everyone in the village knows her sad past, being the daughter of a famous mystic occult guru who died before her eyes when she was still a child.
Equally, everyone knows that she has unique psychic abilities and can see spirits in the everyday world and, if necessary, banish them when they get too annoying.
So her phone rings constantly because her fellow citizens seek her help, even though she is done with the paranormal by now and just wants to do her quiet job as a driving instructor.
Until one day, a widower climbs into her car, desperate by the intrusive presence of his wife’s ghost, who is ruining his life and his daughter’s.
Initially, she refuses to perform an exorcism; however, finding the man charming, she exploits the opportunity to approach and know him better.
However, when she goes to his home, she discovers his daughter is possessed, floating unconscious above the bed.
She does not know how this happened, yet she believes it takes the ectoplasm of seven ghosts to free the girl from this satanic ritual.
Indeed a former local celebrity, once a famous singer, wants to regain success by making a deal with a demon and offering a virgin as a sacrifice.
So they begin frantically roaming all over town, helping people rid their homes of the spirit presences that haunt them and collecting the precious spirit juice.
But time is running out as the blood-red moon approaches, where they must confront the delusional Satanist and his stupid rich wife.
Low budget but lots of ideas
At first glance, Extra Ordinary might seem just another harmless comedy, yet this 2019 movie holds much more wit than you imagine.
At the direction, we have newcomers Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, who work with a solid narrative and stylistic ideas on a limited budget.
Right from the start, I loved the beginning, an old TV series in classic 4:3, ending classily on a tombstone and then widening the screen to a modern 16:9 cinematic.
This TV series is the manifesto/program of the main character’s father, who will return, interplaying with the various scenes and explaining the rules of this funny supernatural world.
Of course, this kind of comedy is pregnant with British humor, which always steals a smile while maintaining a sober seriousness in the narrative, even in the craziest moments.
A perfectly light-hearted style and is suitable for everything from the awkward character’s personal situations to horror scenes with various spirits and assorted demons.
Even more amusing are the constant references (including visual ones) to The Exorcist and Ghostbusters, two famous blockbusters the protagonist seems incredibly unfamiliar with, even though she constantly mentions them.
Unlike these movie classics, the ghosts here are not bringing the end of the world but merely stupidly annoying their loved ones as they did when they were alive.
None of the characters are cool or flawless; instead, in their own way, they are all stupid and weak, making up a group of idiots screwing up one mistake after another.
The two directors edit the story with a fast pace and a constantly over-the-top narrative that flows beautifully and smoothly for an hour and a half duration.
Despite the low budget, the special effects are also sound, creating a hilarious aura of magic that works until the last minute.
The funny faces of Ireland
On top of the excellent directing ideas by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, there is also a fantastic cast to bring a simple but highly effective script to life on the comic side.
Let’s start with the brilliant Maeve Higgins, a stunning leading lady who is not a supermodel of beauty but certainly wins and dominates in simplicity and friendliness.
The actress succeeds in delivering a female ghostbuster to the screen far more successfully than the sluggish 2016 attempt, despite it having superb comedians like Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.
While entertaining, this character reminded me of the great Cate Blanchett in the horror mystery The Gift, an underrated Sam Raimi gem.
Even funnier is her wacky relationship with the oddball father, played by Barry Ward, despite the jealous presence of his wife’s ghost.
A ghost who bothers him about how he should dress and what he should eat even more irritating for being unpredictable and invisible.
Still, Mommy is always Mommy, so she will also try to save her daughter Emma Coleman from a demonic gangbang in the beautiful and delirious final act.
Finally, let’s also talk about the demented villain played by Will Forte, a former singer having made a demonic pact on the style of the great Angel Heart.
Yet even he has an unforgiving wife, the wealthy and stupid matron played by the sexy Claudia O’Doherty, who unknowingly always ruins his occult rituals.
Extra Ordinary is certainly not a movie that garnered critical awards or colossal box office in 2019, but too many people have also unfairly ignored it.
The involvement is constant in every idea, from the ghosts in the garbage can or the incredible phallic virgin-seeking stick; there is madness in every single moment of the story.