Any of you who have owned pets in your life might find yourself talking to them at many points during the day as if they understand you, we all do it, a lot of us sometimes even vent to our pets because although they don’t understand you, they will always be around to hear whatever is bothering you as long as you have a tin of food in your hand. That being said, I can safely say from personal experience that I have never gotten advice on what to do from one of my three dogs, should I murder someone. That’s just what The Voices explores, a dark comedy/horror film that evokes the spirit of John Waters with the disturbing absurdity it produces. My kind of film.
That being said, the film does tackle some serious mental health awareness issues and becomes quite tragic in a sense as Jerry begins to struggle with his own inner demons and tries to convince himself that he’s a good person, despite each aspect of his psyche trying to persuade him back and forth between morally correct and psychopath.
Reynolds is not without great co-stars though, joined by Gemma Arterton as the main love interest, Fiona for the beginning of the film before spending the rest of her screen-time as a decapitated head and in numerous Tupperware boxes. Anna Kendrick plays Lisa, who becomes the focus of Jerry’s attention as soon as Fiona is out of the picture and Jacki Weaver plays Dr. Warren, Jerry’s psychologist and motherly figure in the few scenes she appears. Each co-cast member plays their roles solidly and within tone to the film when necessary, playing both comedic and fearful when required of them.
Helming the film is Marjane Strapi who provides very impressing directing skills, spectacular even. The decision to show us both sides of Jerry’s reality, the colourful world he experiences when he doesn’t take his medication and the dank, sorrowful reality of real life when he’s on them is something that truly makes you sympathise with the character, still jabbing with dark comedy but evoking genuine emotion from the audience. The inclusion of graphic violence is also a strong directorial choice, it’s significantly more brutal and realistic than that of a typical horror film to the point where the colour contrasts of the violence compliment the vivid ‘voices world’ colours. Just everything about the film is balanced very impressively, very John Waters and Tim Burton.
As stated before, the film is within a world of its own, extremely fascinating at times, we can sympathise with Jerry when he doesn’t take his medication because it’s then we escape the gloomy, depressing reality of what we know to be our world and escape into a much more vivid one filled with unpredictability and constant entertainment with each new aspect it pulls out from under us. Wouldn’t we all choose that kind of world if we could? Except without the psychopathic tendencies, of course.
The Voices is a very enjoyable experience and one that I believe I will visit a few more times in order to experience the surrealism and memorable trio of main characters. The cast and crew are a very important foundation for any film and they successfully executed what they aimed to achieve in this case through strong casting, acting and directing. Most importantly, if you have a dark sense of humour, it’s going to be right up your street, the best blend of horror and dark comedy I’ve seen for quite a number of years. Reynolds and Strapi are unforgettable in their roles both in-front and behind the camera, a combo that I hope will team up again for the future.
The Voices hits UK cinemas on March 20th and is currently available on VOD.
Listen to the voices and follow Jozef on Twitter. Do it. Now. – @TheEvilBread
Images provided by the author