Irish filmmaking duo Enda Loughman and Mike Ahern give us their debut picture, a small, low-budget film, that is a masterpiece that will end up being a cult classic. It mashes up genres to brilliant effect. It reminded me a lot of What We Do in the Shadows, if they put Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) from Spinal Tap in as the singer.
You’ll think of those movies, as well as Ghostbusters, The World’s End, and The Exorcist.
It’s such a charming and original film.
Irish comedian Maeve Higgins, who better be the biggest comedic actress in America in a few years, plays Rose Dooley. Her dad Vincent (Risteard Cooper), did a cheesy ghost hunting show called “The Talents” where he investigated supernatural occurrences. Daughter Rose was his assistant, and has a “talent” for communicating with the dead. We find out in the beginning of the movie that she caused his death (don’t worry, you’ll find out the hilarious way later in the film). After the father died, she wants nothing to do with the tree branches that wave to her, or trash cans that have lids that open up to bark a few things at her. She’s content running her driving school, and getting home and eating a TV dinner while bouncing on a huge exercise ball.
Side note: this is the second great film in a week that I’ve seen involving driving lessons. I’m going to let the Auto Club Driving School know they should check this out.
Martin (Barry Ward) is trying to raise his teen daughter Sarah (Emma Coleman), but his wife keeps butting in. She’s a ghost, and she doesn’t think twice about having a cabinet drawer smash him in the face if he’s about to ruin his cholesterol with a donut, or wear the wrong shirt. Under the guise of being a new student, he tries convincing Rose to help him. Rose’s pregnant, hairdressing sister is just happy she’s met a man.
Comedic actor Will Forte plays a one-hit wonder, who hasn’t had success since his song “Cosmic Woman.” He’s gone to Ireland for tax reasons, and is plotting his big comeback. That involves a deal with the devil. Instead of selling his soul for rock ‘n roll, he has to sacrifice a virgin. So when he places a spell on Sarah, Rose is now in charge of not only talking to Sarah’s mom, but trying to break the spell.
There are a few side characters that are fun. One of them is Forte’s gold-digging wife Claudia (Claudia O’Doherty), who wants to complain about her Chinese food, and how it’s taking too long to sacrifice virgins (“Why can’t we just kill the bi***, already?”). Nope. There have to be pentagrams, candles, and Forte either reciting bizarre biblical pieces, or rolling his eyes back and speaking/slurring in tongues, in a scene that was done a handful of times, and was hysterical each and every time.
There were about 50 great lines in this movie. A few that come to mind — that you have nightmares after eating a lot of cheese because it’s a food possessed by ghosts.
Forte telling his wife he’s going to confront his biggest fear. She responds, “Ducks?”
He makes a face, shudders, and says, “No. Learning to drive.”
Seeing various driving students bring snacks they place on the dashboard (and Rose sipping from one of the juice boxes during the lesson)….
And as most movies have a barf scene, at least this gross one involves vomiting to extract ectoplasm.
This also has the funniest sex scene you’ll see on screen all year.
Higgins is someone that does a perfect job with her various emotions, and Ward does a great job when he has to do a few different voices as his body is taken over by a spirit. It reminded me of Steve Martin in All of Me (back in 1984), when Lily Tomlin ends up in his body.
This is a rather cheeky film, with many goofball antics. It has an endearing warmth, and it’s a fun mash up of genres. I recommend it to everyone.
4 stars out of 5.