The Voices


Release: Friday, February 6, 2015


Written by: Michael R. Perry

Directed by: Marjane Satrapi

I always knew cats were inherently evil.

What with their pawing and purring and hairballs and general infatuation with chasing their own tails. Is evil the right word? In this case, yes . . . yes it is; cats take on an entirely darker role in at least one human’s life.

At the center of attention in this bizarre twist on an already twisted subgenre of horror known as horror-comedy is a fairly lonely man named Jerry (Ryan Reynolds), who has just started working at a bathtub factory in a rinky-dink town we don’t know the name of. By all accounts a nice enough guy, he nevertheless shows some signs of detachment from reality and reluctance to interact with his coworkers. When he’s tasked with putting together a company barbecue and in the process meets the cute girl from accounting, a British babe named Fiona (Gemma Arterton), he is instantly smitten and asks her out.

Unable to flat-out tell him she doesn’t want to go out with him, she instead avoids him after work and goes with her friends from accounting, Lisa (Anna Kendrick) and Alison (Ella Smith), to a karaoke bar. She’s left stranded afterwards in the rain when her car can’t start up and her phone has been soaked in the downpour. Serendipitously enough, along comes Jerry who’s heartbroken to say the least having been stood up yet offers a desperate Fiona a ride home. In striking up a conversation with her on the way back Jerry can’t see the deer in the middle of the road and unfortunately creams it. Antlers and all sticking through the windshield, we’re now entering spoiler territory. Suffice it to say, The Voices quickly flips the switch and starts to pursue, with unsettling fervor, the horror aspect.

As far as the comedy is concerned, a little asterisk might need to be placed beside that word. A twisted sense of humor will help enormously in enjoying what Iranian director Marjane Satrapi has to offer here; although the brightly-colored promotional poster for the film doesn’t really make that a secret. What might be more of a surprise is the quality of Ryan Reynolds’ purely tortured performance. He is something to behold — the days of Van Wilder are long since gone, boys and girls. Not that staying in school for the better part of a decade was ever a bad idea but this is a role that represents a remarkable sense of maturity.

If Reynolds’ masterful turn as an oddly empathetic Jerry is the peanut butter to this messed-up sandwich the jelly, then, surely is Satrapi’s commentary on the truly disturbing potential of mental illness to completely consume its victim. There’s no doubt something’s off about this man and while we do surpass the point where we in any reality could forgive him for what he does (let’s get one thing straight: this isn’t an Eli Roth production, death is not played up for laughs), we are able to get to a place where we understand where his problems stem from.

Sure, in order to get to the root of the evil that pervades Jerry’s life we must try to buy into some rather ridiculous scenes that could have benefitted from stronger writing, but the surrealism, the downright perverse entertainment value wins out time and again. Talking dogs and cats? This isn’t quite like Homeward Bound. Or maybe, if Sassy had more of a psychotic agenda.

At the end of the film, one thing was certain for this reviewer: I’m still much more of a dog person.


3-5Recommendation: The best recommendation I can give here is that if you’re still wondering what the animals have to do with anything (especially that darn cat — yay, another movie reference!) then you should just watch and find out for yourself. Fan of Ryan Reynolds and black comedies? This just may well be a must-see for you.

Rated: R

Running Time: 103 mins.

Quoted: “Pretty complicated inside the human mind, huh?”

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40 thoughts on “The Voices

  1. Pingback: Self/less | digitalshortbread

  2. Mister Whiskers man! He was awesome. I liked this movie quite a bit, and really liked how some things were done (seeing Jerry’s world vs the real world – fucking nasty) and exploring mental illness (I am studying psychology and so can be a sucker for these things). Reynolds was really good here. Glad to see you also liked this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Voices started blowing up my Newsfeed on here and so I finally had to see what the fuss was about. Turns out, it was worth it! Loved Reynolds, loved the story, loved the execution, and loved the thematic element of mental illness. Certainly one of the best Ryan Reynolds movies I’ve ever seen. Love what that guy is doing these days, he’s not afraid to do anything it seems

      Liked by 1 person

      • This movie worked much more than expected, definitely with you there!

        I love Reynolds, he is awesome, and can do more than just comedy, despite what people think. I am SO ridiculously amped for Deadpool. I have been for years. They better not screw it up now.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks dude. The Voices is a strange but worthwhile experience in my book. Me not being the most devout horror fan found it worked on both a disturbing and humorous level. It’s worth giving it a shot!


  3. Sounds like you liked this as much as I did. Though for me I think the humour was better, like I was literally falling off the seat in laughter, constantly. This is my sort of humour. And this originally came from a script written by one of the paranormal franchise people!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Woman in Gold | digitalshortbread

  5. I think I’ll like this. I like Ryan Reynolds and Gemma Arterton, and I like animals. Especially talking animals. And I like twisted dark comedy murderage. Yes, sold! Great review, Tom.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m really glad you dug this one, man. It’s such a unique take on the slasher concept and Reynolds is simply amazing here (he didn’t just do the voices for the cat and dog, but also for the deer and bunny). So awesome.

    PS: I don’t care much for superhero movies, but I’m excited to see him as Deadpool. That will be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dude it’s another little gem I would likely not have gotten to without Rhino’s Horror, so I must thank you for turning my attention to it! It was indeed a good bit of fun. Reynolds was at his best here I think.

      I can’t decide if I’ll see Deadpool. I’m into the superhero vibe and all but that character is just too obscure for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Glad to hear that, man! It’s why I do what I do!

        Ah, see, that’s exactly why I think I would dig Deadpool. I never read the comics or anything, but he seems like such a ridiculous character that I’d probably get a kick out of it. We’ll see, though!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think the obscurity will definitely work in the film’s favor. Look what happened with Guardians of the Galaxy lol. I’ll def consider it if it gets rave reviews on opening weekend.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Deadpool was made out to be especially cool in the last Batman game, and I had ZERO idea who he was in the universe. Not even a clue. Yet that one boss fight with him actually has ME interested in a superhero movie. Which the more I think about it, is very very odd

          Liked by 1 person

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