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A likable guy pursues his office crush with the help of his evil talking pets, but things turn sinister when she stands him up for a date.
Ryan Reynolds – Jerry Hickfang (also Mr. Whiskers, Bosco, Deer and Bunny Monkey)
Gemma Arterton – Fiona
Jackie Weaver – Dr. Warren
Anna Kendrick – Lisa
Sam Spruell – Dave
The Voices was (‘scuse me language) fucking fantastic. Why? Because of how twisted it was. Have you ever sat laughing out loud at something on screen that you subsequently think, “shit – why am I laughing at something so horrible?” – this movie is a prime example. From the opening scene, sinister things happen with a few twisted turns along the way. What starts out as a calm, collective tale of a sweet guy going about his daily life, quickly spirals into complete murder. Literally – murder. And Reynolds does a fantastic job of portraying the lead character. But more of that later.
Jerry (Reynolds) is a relatively upbeat kind of guy, who works at a bathtub factory. He seems chipper, going about daily life. But there’s a small issue – he hears voices and suffers from severe hallucinations. And these mainly come in the form of his cat Mr. Whiskers and his dog Bosco. The fluffy everyday house pets literally sit and talk to him – Bosco being the voice of reason, Mr. Whiskers being a nasty piece of work who urges Jerry to do terrible things. I must say, the two animals were highly entertaining with Reynolds’ voice dubbed over moving mouths. They honestly have to be the best dubbed animals I have ever seen in a film. Usually you get an animal with awful graphics; an obvious mouth placed over the top of its own, etc. But these two were brilliant, the cat especially. And to add to the randomness of an angel-dog, devil-cat situation, Mr. Whiskers is full-blown Scottish whilst Bosco remains softly spoken British.
Watching Jerry communicate with his pets was hilarious – but again – should I have been laughing?! I suppose in a sense, The Voices falls into the same genre as that of The Rocky Horror Picture Show; messed up. But very entertaining. I found myself (a few other viewers in the cinema too) laughing out loud during three or four scenes; all involving murder. Wrong – but fucking funny. As it progressed, this movie was turning out to be deliciously sinister. Helped along of course, by the decapitations. Because what does Jerry do when he meets a nice girl and takes her back to his place?..
..he chops her head off.
If you come across promotional material – posters basically – for The Voices, you may see a picture of a fridge with two female heads inside. This leaves little to the imagination as it mirrors exacty what happens in the movie. I need not tell you it’s a weird scenrio – but it is.
When Jerry first meets Fiona at work, he is immediately attracted to her and tries to gain her interest. Only, she finds him a tad strange and appears the opposite. On a girls night out, events take an unusual turn and lead to him giving her a ride home through a the countryside. But the car hits a deer, leading to Jerry finishing it off with the chunky knife he is carrying, and Fiona escaping the car and running hysterically through the dark woods. Jerry chases after a soaked (rain and blood) and distraught Fiona, but ends up butchering her in the middle of the woods. Good god, it was weird – but plot-wise, it was all quite gripping. And the style in which it was being played out was very animated, keeping my eyes firmly fixed on the screen with my mouth hanging open. For example, Fiona’s blood-curdling screams and distraught features with her running through the dark woods, the way in which blood (from both deer and woman) flew across the screen in bold fashion. And Jerry – just being his crazy knife-wielding self – all added wonderfully to the overall murky atmosphere.
I was thoroughly enjoying this. Of course, I questioned whether or not I was a peverse human being at one point, but otherwise I was enjoying it.
Poor Jerry. After finishing Fiona off in the woods, he is faced with the dilemma of how to dispose of her body. So whilst displaying great compassion, he chops her entire body into meaty chunks. And stores them in a large quantity of Tupperware boxes.
Apart from her head of course. He pops this on the top shelf in his fridge. Which sparks a regular hobby. Because next up (inspired by the evil advice of Mr. Whiskers of course) is another work colleague, Lisa. Yes, she also ends up ‘dead meat’ (pun fully intended) and her head makes a pretty addition to the fridge. But the two young ladies are still fully functioning; to anyone else these heads would be rotting flesh. To Jerry, they’re still very much alive..
Using some convincing visual effects, the producers bring two decapitated heads to life nicely. Although it is mainly Arterton and Kendrick doing most of the work by – well – acting. But any other visuals are done nicely. The whole concept of this man storing the heads of the women he loves in his fridge is just insane. But again (as I have explained above), it makes for a fantastic watch.
As the explosive final scene comes to a tragic end, the movie blends nicely into (amazingly) a song and dance. I say amazingly – I suppose given the style of the movie, it really isn’t a surprise. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that events at the end lead to Jerry being transported to a stark, brightly-lit world where he is reunited with Fiona, Lisa, and a third female victim he killed (whose death I also hooted with laughter at – so wrong). This scene is subtle, but incredibly effective by use of certain elements.
Firstly, the costumes and make-up are fantastic. Fiona’s outfit for example; her hair swept to one side and flowing down her chest as she stands in a brightly coloured pink and green dress and high heels. Same with Lisa – a dress so bright it’s almost nauseating and plastered in make-up. All three women warble lines to a song so simplistic in lyrics that it literally only contains about three lines before repeating itself. And when Jerry struts into frame, it only gets better. His colourful suit is hilarious (think Dumb and Dumber when Harry and Lloyd turn up at a party in those green and orange penguin suits). And in a total turn of personality, the man becomes sultry and sexy as he croons the lines of the Happy Song.
This was all too much entertainment wise, I was absolutely fucking loving it. The way in which the actors played out the entire performance and then rounded the sinister events off with a sweet song was splendid, and reminded me of certain live theatre shows I’ve seen in the past. Reynolds, Arterton and Kendrick radiated the perfect atmosphere containing all the ingredients of a Broadway show. So if The Voices freaks you out to the point of wanting to switch off, I would urge you to stick it out until the ending scene. It rounded the movie off perfectly.
The Voices is inexplicably sinister. But at the same time it is very entertaining. Ryan Reynolds brings a character to the screen different to what he has shown us previously. Gluttonous and fidgety, the man is vile – but very sweet also. How is this possible?.. because of the style of the movie. What The Voices does is blend horrible events with a naive sense of longing and loneliness, thus creating a male character who you just can’t help but feel sorry for. It is beyond twisted, which makes it all the more entertaining and this is boosted 100% by the talking animals. Busco and Mr. Whiskers are just fantastic as Jerry’s inner voices, and Ryan Reynolds himself voicing them only adding to the quality of talent in the production.
Screaming through twisted open-mouthed facial expressions, blood spattering all over the place, chatty pets and a crazed man trying to keep a (mainly Tupperware) lid on it all.. it’s all here. This movie is like a pantomime for murderers. This is a movie that can’t be properly explained. And perhaps doesn’t need to be explained either. Sit back, relax, and be prepared to laugh, gasp and mouth-clap in a fucked-up world of murder, passion, bad cats and and bizarre facial expressions. This is one of the most sinsister yet highly enjoyable features I’ve ever seen at the cinema.
Oh, heads will roll..