‘The Voices’ is a dark horror-comedy with heart


Marjane Satrapi’s violent black comedy is as sincere as it is horrifying.


Fiona (Gemma Arterton) and Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) in The voices.

Welcome to The Overlook Motel, a place where underseen and overlooked films are given pride of place. I hope you enjoy your stay here and find the accommodations suitable. Now please sit down and make yourself comfortable, I have a few misbehaving guests to “correct”.

In this episode of The Overlook Motel, I revisit Marjane Satrapi’s dark horror comedy, The voices. This movie features a friendly antihero, talking pets, and plenty of bloodshed. Are you already addicted?

Upbeat Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) enjoys his new gig at a bathtub factory. But when he makes the fateful decision to stop taking his meds, Jerry’s murderous urges take over. Things get more complicated when his animal companions, Bosco and Mr. Whiskers, start talking to him, resulting in a series of goofy and violent encounters.

The voices works as well as it does for a number of reasons. The first is a stellar screenplay by Michael R. Perry (paranormal activity 2). Perry has a wild imagination and a dark sense of humor that really shines through in the finished product.

Related Article: Exclusive: 5 Fun Questions With ‘The Voices’ Director Marjane Satrapi

Equally important to the film’s success is an outstanding performance from the ever-versatile Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds makes Jerry likeable, which is no small feat. He’s not a good guy. Yet every time I revisit The voices, I can’t help but cheer him on as a lovable antihero. And that comes from the fact that Jerry doesn’t want to to be a villain. He wants do the right thing and he wants live an average life. But her struggles with schizophrenia make that easier said than done. There is something relatable about his fight. Not the killer part. But the idea of ​​good intentions and best-laid plans doesn’t always turn out the way we would like.

More endearing to Jerry for audiences is the portrayal of his troubled and traumatic childhood. While childhood trauma is no excuse for homicide, it does give the viewer an idea of ​​why Jerry is the way he is and why he does what he does.

Although Jerry’s animal companions, Mr. Whiskers and Bosco, cannot in fact speak and serve primarily to represent a physical manifestation of Jerry’s inner voices, they are undeniably adorable. In fact, their commentary makes the film. Both were voiced by Reynolds and it shows just how versatile and talented he is. Each pet has a distinct personality that reflects how I would expect my pets to act if they suddenly started talking.

Mr. Whiskers is judgmental and aloof, saying everything any cat parent suspects his sassy feline friend might think. And Bosco is encouraging, selfless, optimistic and has a clearly defined sense of right and wrong. Besides serving as great supporting characters, the pets also tell us a lot about who Jerry is and how badly he really wants to do the right thing.

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Director Satrapi juxtaposes the film’s darker moments with lighthearted, happy, and silly exchanges that offset the more underwhelming sequences, striking a balance that keeps things from getting too dark or too sappy.

Given that the subject matter is quite dark at times and the audience for this type of film is rather niche, I can understand why it didn’t receive a theatrical release in the United States. But it’s a pity that The voices didn’t bow to a larger audience as it’s horror-infused comedy at its finest. If you’ve managed to skip this dark gem so far, it’s available to stream via Cinemax as soon as this article is published.

If you want to check The voices outside, let us know your impressions on Facebook, Twitteror Instagram.

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