Serial killers and talking animals! They’ve both been staples of cinema for longer then we can remember, and yet up till now no one has had the common sense or the twisted sense of humor to actually combine the two! But wait no longer with bated breath friends, because along comes The Voices, director Marjane Satrapi’s jet-black comedy horror, which plays out like a cross between Psycho and Garfield, and is as kooky, charming, dark and gory as that aforementioned comparison suggests!

The Voices Review

Ryan Reynolds plays sweet-natured but socially awkward Jerry, a man determined to ask out his office crush, played here by Gemma Arterton. Unfortunately for Jerry, he’s stopped taking his prescribed medication, and now his lovable pets, a Dog called Bosco and Mr Whiskers the Cat, are talking to him. Worse still, they’re telling him to commit horrible acts of murder!

It’s certainly one of the more original film ideas to grace our screens this year, one which will undoubtedly entice both slasher-flick fanatics and indie-comedy lovers alike. Michael R. Perry’s script is chock full of iconic moments of blood-soaked horror, but keeps the laughs coming thick and fast, whilst also managing to keep its murderous protagonist endearing and loveable, even when he’s murdering other characters left, right and center. The animal characters are equally adorable, with Mr Whisker’s foul-mouthed Scottish tones a particular comedic highlight!

It’s also a great vehicle for showcasing the talents of Ryan Reynolds, who certainly plays a huge role in making the film’s uneven tones blend together and work. In a lesser actor’s hands, Jerry could have come across as a one note psychopath with family issues, but with Reynolds in the role, we instead get a rounded, intense yet charming character, imbued with nerdish charisma and a vulnerability that will tug on your heartstrings as the film takes a darker turn later on.

The Voices Review

Satrapi’s direction is sublime, stylish and gorgeous, incorporating some neat cinematographic tricks that not only look bright and beautiful, but also occasionally force us to question whether what we’re actually seeing is real or not. Likewise, the scenes with the talking animals are moments of well paced comedy gold, darkly funny and surreal, and also a tiny bit disturbing, to say the least!

It will probably fail to please everyone. As funny and as disturbing as the film is, there are some moments that fail to hit the comedic heights of others, whilst other moments slow the pace down a tad more than is perhaps required. And yet, there’s no getting away from how brilliantly left-field, intelligent and hilarious The Voices is. If anything, it’s the perfect antidote to the more serious and unimaginative slasher/horror movies of recent years.