(director/writer: Mike Ahern/Enda Loughman; screenwriters: Demian Fox/Maeve Higgins; cinematographer: James Mather; editor: Gavin Buckley; music: George Brennan; cast: Maeve Higgins (Rose Dooley), Barry Ward (Martin Martin), Will Forte (Christian Winter), Claudia O’Doherty (Claudia Winter), Terri Chandler (Sailor Dooley), Jamie Beamish (Brian Welsh), Risteard Cooper (Vincent Dooley), Emma Coleman (Sarah Martin), Carrie Crowley (Marion Mularkey); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Katie Holly, Yvonne Donohoe, Mary McCarthy, Ailish Bracken;Good Deed Entertainment; 2019-Ireland/Belgium)
“Very funny off-beat Irish comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The Irish team of Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman are first-time feature film directors and writers of this very funny off-beat Irish comedy. Before this venture the duo worked on shorts, music videos, and commercials. Demian Fox and star Maeve Higgins are their co-writers, who help keep things loose and free-spirited much like Ghostbusters.
Our likable heroine is Rose Dooley (Maeve Higgins, Irish stand-up comedienne, who is just outstanding), a driving instructor in a small town. She’s a shy thirty-something, who was destined for greater things because of her childhood psychic talent, being the daughter of a noted spiritualist father Vincent (Risteard Cooper), but her magical aspirations ended in an accident involving a so-called “haunted pothole,” that finds dad dead when she botches things up while assisting him in exorcising a possessed dog. This ended her budding career as the town’s medium.
Rose’s new driving student Martin Martin (Barry Ward) is a widower who perks her up as a possible romantic interest, but it turns out he’s only seeking out her psychic ability. That’s a service both he and his teenage daughter Sarah (Emma Coleman) could really use at this time. It seems his domineering, chain-smoking, late wife Bonnie has returned to this world as a meddling poltergeist (like reminding him to pay the annual automobile tax by posting the foamy message on his mirror while he’s shaving). But Rose, before relenting, tells him “I’d never use my talents again.” She relents only when seeing another problem facing Sarah, like being suspended in the air above her bed.
When it’s learned that the castle renting (to take advantage of Irish tax-shelter laws), aging, one-hit wonder American pop star Christian Winter (Will Forte), known for the still popular song “Cosmic Woman,” attempts to get his dormant career a new life by performing a satanic ritual on the eve of the blood moon, involving the sacrifice of a virgin, he chooses Sarah. But the sicko singer can’t finish his ritual levitating practice because his bitchy wife Claudia (Claudia O’Doherty) keeps him losing his concentration by telling him to “Just kill the bitch”and other asides.
Rose shows that she knows how to deal with black magic, as she collects the ectoplasm of seven ghosts from Martin’s repeated vomiting and then with the counter-spell in her possession goes to rescue the vic from the devil worshipper.
It’s a very pleasing but silly movie, as it easily moves into demonic-possession Ghostbusters territory, with a script that allows for a liberal use of ad libs and a stupendous but outrageous ending set at the doorstep to Satan’s residence.
Added to the film’s goofy charms are the presence of Rose’s bump showing pregnant sister Sailor (Terri Chandler) and her date Brian (Jamie Beamish), who is not the father of her child (What did you expect!).
REVIEWED ON 5/9/2020 GRADE: A-