The Voices (2015) is a strange comedy/horror/thriller starring comedian Ryan Reynolds as a seemingly happy guy who works 9-5 at a bathtub factory. The women in the office find Jerry oddly attractive and his offbeat humor cute, but he could stand to find a few friends. After seeing his court-appointed psychiatrist (because Jerry has a profoundly disturbing past), Jerry decides he’s going to pursue his office crush. Things take an extremely dark turn for Jerry when the girl stands him up for a date.
That’s not the strangest thing about Jerry. Jerry gets guidance from his evil, foul mouth cat. He also gets advice from his sweeter, slow talking dog. He has to make the choice of whether he will stick to striving for normalcy or indulging in murder.
When I saw the quirky, bloody and dark trailer for this film I knew I had to go out and rent it right away! While I was still prepared for it to be a dark comedy, I was not prepared for how dark it would be. Ryan Reynolds does an amazing job as the unhinged Jerry. There’s something sweet and likable about Jerry even after you know he is out there slaughtering people. He’s presented in a very human manner, which he is after all, even though he does monstrous things! I wanted to take him out for a cup of coffee because he just seemed to need a friend even though I knew he would most likely end up cutting my head off and putting in the fridge.
You see the world through Jerry’s mostly happy-go-lucky way of life. His apartment is perfect, his office is a chipper place to work even though it’s a bathtub factory and his pets actually talk to him! You don’t realize the film is through Jerry’s point of view until the director skillfully gives you just a little glimpse in to what Jerry’s life rally looks like. It’s pretty frighteningly real. It’s clear that the director was more interested in bringing home how mentally ill Jerry was rather than just displaying him as this murderous monster. It certainly doesn’t excuse any of Jerry’s terrible deeds, but it does create a better understanding of what lead to his mental break.
Colors like pink and tan are seen often in Jerry’s world because that’s obviously the colors of happiness and contentment for him. At one point he’s shown to have a pink toilet. For God’s sake, what man has a pink toilet? Jerry’s house is originally seen in pristine condition; a sign immediately that something is wrong.
My favorite aspect of the film is the talking animals. From the listing on IMBD, Ryan Reynolds actually did the voices of the cat and dog. The cat is a dirty talking mean little thing that pushes Jerry further and further to commit terrible crimes. While his dog is the more reasonable one who tries to convince Jerry to do the right thing. Reynolds voice over as the two completely different characters is very well done and impressive. The cat is the devil sitting on Jerry’s shoulder and the dog is the Angel. The inventions of the two characters felt like some sort of a sick homage to The Son of Sam killer, I thought it was a nice touch.
What’s so unexpected about the film is the complete and utter darkness of it. Sure, in the beginning Jerry feels like a guy who’s just slightly misguided, but by the 20 minute mark of the film you realize that Jerry is just bat-shit crazy and extremely dangerous. He carries on conversations with heads in his fridge! One moment Jerry is happy-go-lucky at work, next he’s drinking and crying in the dark of his house while in his underwear. As the film grows darker, comedy can still be experienced throughout it which leaves you in an awkward position. Should you be laughing or should you be disturbed?
If you’re slightly twisted like most horror fans, then the answer is a little bit of both. The supporting cast is pretty much that, supporting. Anna Kendrick is her normal sickly, sweet self. Although there were a few very disturbing moments with her character, the rest of her role was pretty much like any of her other roles…slightly annoying. Gemma Arterton is pretty electrifying as the main talking head in his fridge. It’s such a restrictive role that her personality and facial expressions are all Arterton has to work with and she did it really well!
The only thing that didn’t really work for me were the end credits. I know it was trying to add to the overall surrealism of the film, but it just came across strange which is saying much for an already very bizarre film.
If you like twisted dark comedies such as American Psycho as I do, you’ll enjoy this. While it’s dark, it’s not nearly as dark as American Psycho. You can breathe a little easier knowing there that there are genuine Laugh-out-loud moment in between your slaughter. There’s also a fairly sweet love story involved, go figure!
Like with American Psycho, it surprised me greatly that the director is a female (Marjane Satrapi) proving women can do horror too and do it well! This is one movie dark comedy fans have to watch. Give it time, I think people will consider this a cult classic for years to come.