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John’s Horror Corner: The Voices (2014), a gory dark comedy with Ryan Reynolds as a likable schizophrenic whose cat urges him to kill people.

April 18, 2015

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MY CALL:  Definitely not for everyone.  This film is sweet and funny, but it has its Texas Chainsaw moments, too.  It’s a cute little murderous movie.  MOVIES LIKE The VoicesMaybe American Psycho (2000), which is much smarter and more serious.

Ryan Reynolds (RIPD, Safe House, Green Lantern) seems to be supportive of indie and experimental films.  The Captive and Buried presented him with new challenges, and I suppose The Nines and Finder’s Fee presented some different styles to try to round him out as an actor.  His latest non-mainstream endeavor is The Voices, in which he plays the voices of his Scottish-accented cat Mr. Whiskers, his dog Bosco, a weird Bunny Monkey sock puppet, and a dying deer his character hits with a car.  It’s like a slasher-Psycho version of Eddie Murphy’s The Nutty Professor.

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The cat is menacing; the dog, warm-hearted. Like having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, Bosco is everything good in Jerry whereas Mr. Whiskers exudes the evil from the darkest corners of Jerry’s psyche.

If that sounds a bit odd to you, your suspicions are correct.  This film is odd.  Were it not for my being a Ryan Reynolds fan, I’d probably have spent the first 20 minutes of this movie wondering if renting it was a mistake.  That said, the story does find its legs and gains some traction.  It doesn’t end up anywhere great, but it certainly turned out to be something interesting.  At the very least, it’s a story you have not seen told before (not like this anyway).

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Meet Jerry…sitting alone talking to a goldfish bowl in a Chinese restaurant.  Story of his life.

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is a sweet, likable factory worker with schizophrenia.  He tries to fit in and live a normal life, but his actions highlight his eccentricities, alerting everyone around him that something about him is weird.  As a product of not taking his medication, he comes home to a friendly talking dog and his cat, who verbally abuses him with a Scottish accent.

Jerry has a crush on Fiona (Gemma Arterton; Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Byzantium, Clash of the Titans) that turns from something pathetic into something awkward and then develops into something tragic…but the whole time we feel for Jerry.  Things gets worse when Lisa (Anna Kendrick; Pitch Perfect) goes out on a date with him.  Completely incompetent and thus facilitating his madness is Jerry’s psychiatrist (Jackie Weaver; Haunt, Stoker), who never takes appropriate action regarding Jerry’s treatment and medication.  Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick and Jackie Weaver all contribute decent performances.

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Oops.

The most interesting and eye-opening scene by far is when Jerry actually takes his medication and, to his horror, sees his sickly abject home and muted pets as they truly are.  The scene brings the story together and solidifies Jerry’s ensuing actions and our forgiveness for those actions.

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Yup.  That’s Gemma Arterton’s head.  And here he is feeding it cereal.  Her head keeps him company and asks if she can have a “friend” to keep her company.

This movie is nothing spectacular, but Reynolds does a fantastic job of presenting his murderous character through a sympathetic lens, begging reasonable forgiveness for even his most heinous acts.  He’s the killer you feel sorry for…you even want to see him happy even though you know it won’t happen, making this a very endearing psycho-killer film.  LOL

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Also, I’m not sure if this was just an authored scenario or a sleight of social commentary about our health care system, but it is only because the health care system (especially his psychiatrist) fail Jerry that he causes anyone harm.

The film closes with a weirdly funny musical number at the end featuring Reynoolds and the major cast during the credits.  Nice touch to wrap up the mania of this cute little murderous movie.  Definitely not for everyone.  This film is sweet and funny, but it has its Texas Chainsaw moments.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2015 7:14 pm

    Good review. It’s dark and weird, but also kind of fun. In an even weirder way, that is.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      April 20, 2015 1:34 pm

      I loved how they built sympathy for Jerry. Very weird, very effective. I liked him. But his cat was a jerk. lol

  2. Victor De Leon permalink
    April 20, 2015 3:17 pm

    holy crap, man, I gotta check this out! thanks for the head’s up!

  3. April 21, 2015 1:47 pm

    Excellent review! My partner and I both loved the film and gave it our own review treatment if anyone would like to take a look.
    http://www.thydemonsbescribblin.com/movie-reviews—just-shit-or-the-shit/cult-feind-hear-the-voices

    • John Leavengood permalink
      April 22, 2015 9:05 am

      Thanks. Always feel free to share your review links with us in the comments section.

  4. April 29, 2015 3:22 pm

    I was really excited to see this movie, and I liked it mostly, except for the ending, which I thought was awful. Ryan Reynolds plays a effective and mostly sympathetic whack job, as you said. This movie has grown on me since I saw it a few weeks ago and I think I would like to see it again some time, it’s just the kind of crazy f**ked up shit I like (everyone in my family makes fun of me because I like crazy indie movies with strong insanity themes.)

    My review- (leave a comment if you wish, no pressure 🙂 ) https://sarahblogger94.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/the-voices-2014/

Trackbacks

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  3. John’s Horror Corner: Ava’s Possessions (2015), humorously addressing what happens “after” an exorcism…like support groups and warrants. | Movies, Films & Flix
  4. John’s Horror Corner: Deathgasm (2015), the New Zealand horror comedy where Ash vs the Evil Dead brilliantly meets Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. | Movies, Films & Flix
  5. John’s Horror Corner: Zoombies (2016), a low budget zombedy using the Jurassic World playbook. | Movies, Films & Flix
  6. The MFF Halloween Horror Calendar: 31 Streaming Films for 31 Days | Movies, Films & Flix
  7. John’s Horror Corner: Life (2017), the incredibly intense Sci-Fi thriller that relies equally on great characters and a great monster. | Movies, Films & Flix
  8. John’s Horror Corner: They Look Like People (2015), indie psychological horror pitting the voices against friendship. | Movies, Films & Flix
  9. The Captive (2014), not your typical Ryan Reynolds film…nor a good one. | Movies, Films & Flix
  10. Self/Less (2015), yet another Ryan Reynolds body-swapping movie. | Movies, Films & Flix

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