Finding the words to describe this film has been difficult. It’s kind of like Psycho in the sense of character, but the tone feels more like a fast paced comedy which is sort of sickening because we are basically delving deep in to the mind of a serial killer although I imagine that is exactly the point – to see the world through the eyes of someone who is mentally ill and understand their actions.
The Voices is about a man (Jerry) who, like his mother, hears voices that no one else can hear – in particular his cat and his dog. So Jerry gets set up at someone who has been mentally ill, but has been trusted to go back to work providing he continues taking his medication – which he doesn’t. Everything is going great (other than the voices) until one of his colleagues stands him up and he “accidentally” kills her then to get rid of the body chops it up and puts it in to plastic food containers, keeping her head in the fridge and surprise surprise she starts talking to him from inside the fridge claiming she wants a friend so with a little encouragement from his cat Jerry ends up killing one of the other colleagues and does the same with her body and head as the first of his victims. To cut a long story short, he kills three people kidnaps one and just as the police are coming he ends up killing himself.
It is a very confusing film to watch (once again probably on purpose to highlight his illness), here we have a tortured soul who has experienced a truly awful childhood full of death and mental illness yet he seems incredibly content for the most part. If you are expecting a film where you are laughing your head off…give it a miss. It is a comedy, but it is incredibly dark and not nearly half as light-hearted as the trailers suggest. At the same time if you are expecting a horror film about a serial killer it can’t give you that either, I’m not even sure I can call it a comedy horror.
I’m not going to lie, the film didn’t move me. It is nothing special, but what it does give is a fantastic and strangely moving performance by Ryan Reynolds. I am not at all a fan of Ryan Reynolds, but I have to give credit where credit is due he is the best thing about this film and I would actually argue that the film is worth watching just to see him show off some fantastic acting although I feel like no one else in the film was given an opportunity to develop their characters or show acting talent. There is a scene with Anna Kendrick that shows a side of her I have never seen before where she is scared and overwhelmed, but it didn’t stand out.
Technically the film isn’t bad, but it also doesn’t stand out. I feel like the film doesn’t understand what it’s meant to be therefore it doesn’t really fit in to any category and feels quite scattered and rushed. This could be interpreted, once again, as something that is to portray Jerry’s mental illness which in that case it is a very clever film, but if you aren’t sensitive to topics such as this you may not understand it or you may feel unsettled.