Poster The Voices 2014Grade (B+)

A uniquely fun, dark-comedy that entertains with a great blend of gore and odd humor.

“THE VOICES” stars Ryan Reynolds as Jerry, a seemingly kind guy who talks to his pets and fails to takes his court ordered medications, something that causes a tail-spin of murderous activities once he is stood up on a date by his office crush.

When done properly one of the most enjoyable types of films can be that of the dark-comedy. When done incorrectly they come off as extremely cheesy, making these ventures into the genre certainly hit-and-miss. I heard little of this film before watching and after seeing the trailer it showed some promise yet my expectations were still low. After it was over I was highly delighted by what this one delivered and found it very entertaining, and surprisingly well written and acted.

Ryan Reynolds was great in the lead role as Jerry, a likable schizophrenic who is off his medication and begins to hear his pets talking to him. Soon he begins to have conversations with them as each pet takes the role of the evil and good, pulling Jerry between his split personalities caused from his medications. He delivered many laughable moments and when the script needed him to look the part of a psycho, he without question delivered. Many times he came across as a psychotic version of his Van Wilder persona and it was great in the role. It provided many memorable moments as he struggles through his wide range of emotions.

Reynolds was highly comical in the banter with his pets as the dialogue delivered some good lines. He also captured the odd and methodical way the character went about his life and the uneasiness of being shy for the most part. Another thing Reynolds did an excellent job of was pulling off the range of a kind-hearted man with a low self-esteem, a complete psychopath, and at the core, a broken human being who was given no chances of a normal life. Without his strong performance this film would not have been nearly as entertaining as it turned out to be.

Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick were also good in their roles and the strong cast performances all around made the most out of the bizarre subject matter. Michael R. Perry’s script was grim, disturbing, and eerie yet comically quirky, enjoyably fresh and subtly elegant as well. There is no question the plot is over-the-top and easily fit for that of a pure horror film, but with some clever writing and witty humor the story-line is built for as many dark laughs as there is shock-value gore.

Marjane Satrapi directed a dark grizzly story and makes the most out of Perry’s writing. This film knew what it wanted to be and kept its focus throughout and in the end results in a film that takes a bunch or random elements and molds them into a fresh and unique story. The first-act pulls your attention early on and creates a lead character that grabs your attention and makes you think about what is fueling him. As the script progresses doses of who Jerry is are revealed to make you (in a way) understand why he does what he does and how his life parallels between being on and off his medication.

“The Voices” is not for everyone, but those who like a horror film with a well structured comical backbone to it, this one will entertain. I found this movie to be a refreshing dose of fresh story-telling made better with a strong lead performance. There were some pacing issues and during the second-act it did seem to drag a bit, but overall this one turned out to be a fun night with a quirky film and is worth a watch if you find the premise or trailer intriguing.

– Starring –

Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver, Ella Smith, Adi Shankar, Sam Spruell

– Directed By –

Marjane Satrapi

Time: 103 min

MPAA Rating: R (For bloody violence, and for language including sexual references)