Director: Marjane Satrapi
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick
Release Date: In Select Theaters & On Demand February 6th
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is that chipper guy clocking the nine-to-five at a bathtub factory, with the offbeat charm of anyone who could use a few friends. With the help of his court-appointed psychiatrist, he pursues his office crush (Gemma Arterton). However, the relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn after she stands him up for a date. Guided by his evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog, Jerry must decide whether to keep striving for normalcy, or indulge in a much more sinister path.
‘The Voices’ tells the story of down on his luck Jerry (Reynolds) who is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, but he also has a few problems. He works hard at a local factory and is always in positive spirits, then returns home to his apartment and converses with his dog and cat who both speak to him on a regular basis. When chance happens to provide Jerry an opportunity with his beautiful co-worker Fiona (Arterton) he’s not quite sure how to handle it, so naturally he decides to listen to the advice of his cat and dog and their opinions regarding the matter. When his evil cat convinces Jerry to commit murder, everything starts to fall apart like dominoes and if he isn’t able to get a grip on the situation soon, his cat may just turn him into a full blown serial killer.
The film is incredibly well done in nearly every regard, utilizing bright and vivid colors throughout the scenes that contrast beautifully with other bright colors present simultaneously, such as blood or a raincoat worn by someone one screen; in addition to a deliciously twisted storyline that is as disturbing as it is hilarious. This is an accomplishment that very few films of the type manage to successfully achieve these days; resulting in the viewer laughing without shame during the most deranged of moments, simply due to the perfectly executed tone that this film thrives on.
‘The Voices’ is directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) from a script by Michael R. Perry (Paranormal Activity 2 and co-creator of the creepy, short lived TV series ‘The River’). Satrapi does a fantastic job at the helm and guides the film expertly, delivering a unique and memorable experience that could not possibly have been handled any more superbly. The most notable aspect of this already overly phenomenal film is Ryan Reynolds who is at the very top of his game here and delivers a truly remarkable performance, not to mention also his best yet. In my opinion Reynolds has proven his talent time and again with such films as ‘Buried’ and ‘Safe House’ among others, yet you’ve never seen him like this. Reynolds carries a large portion of the film himself, portraying not only the role of Jerry brilliantly, but also providing all of the voice talent as well, a fact which really blew my mind and will likely yours too when you see how phenomenally he handles these sequences. The rest of the cast delivers solid performances in each of their respective roles as well, including Anna Kendrick, Gemma Arterton and more, but Ryan Reynolds definitely steals the show here.
Every now and then a film comes along that redefines and renews our hope and love for the horror comedy (or dark comedy) genre, such as ‘Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil’ or ‘Very Bad Things’ to provide a couple of specific examples, and ‘The Voices’ definitely follows in the footsteps of such wonderful and unique films as those. While it’s far more of an incredibly dark comedy as opposed to a horror comedy, it still certainly has a number of horror elements present throughout and it wields its deranged sense of humor with a strange sense of charm, not to mention has no hesitation with the bloodshed. With its fantastic directing, impressive performances and wonderfully dark yet chipper approach, dark comedies certainly don’t much more deliciously twisted than this. ‘The Voices’ is a dark comedy masterpiece and I one I can’t possibly recommend highly enough.
Film Rating: 9/10
‘The Voices’ arrives in Select Theaters & On Demand Friday, Febrary 6th from Lionsgate Films
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