Although he has done some more serious roles over the past few years — Buried, Safe House — Ryan Reynolds may perhaps always be known as somewhat of a funny man. I’ve seen a few of his comedic outings like Van Wilder and Waiting…, but never have I seen him portray a character quite like he does in Marjane Satrapi’s black comedy horror film, The Voices.
Jerry (Reynolds) is an awkward factory worker who is seeing a court appointed psychiatrist for various reasons. When he refuses to take the medication prescribed to him, he starts hearing voices… mainly those of his pets, a cat and dog named Mr. Whiskers and Bosco, respectively. After being stood up by his new co-worker crush, Fiona (Gemma Arterton, Byzantium, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters), Jerry coincidentally picks her up on the side of the road and accidentally kills her in the middle of the forest. After realizing what he has done, he takes Fiona’s body home to dispose of the evidence. Fiona’s severed head is lonely in the fridge, however, and Jerry must kill more people to help keep her company…
The Voices is funny and disturbing. Ryan Reynolds speaking with his pets is a ridiculous sight to see, but what they are debating about is truly creepy. Reynolds does an amazing job as Jerry, the mentally troubled man who you can’t help but feel sorry for. Reminiscent of a modern-day Norman Bates, Jerry is sad and strange, but seems like a great guy at heart. He just happens to be completely messed up by various childhood events, which include an abusive father and a mother who also heard voices, the angels, she called them.
In addition to Reynolds performance, the entire supporting cast was also outstanding. Gemma Arterton as Fiona, Anna Kendrick (50/50, End of Watch) as Lisa, and Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) as Dr. Warren all did masterfully. Second only to Reynolds performance was Anna Kendrick, who is normally wonderful at playing the cute, shy girl. Not only did she play that role superbly once again, but she was able to express other emotions this time around, which happened to include extreme fear as she realized what Jerry was truly capable of.
Once you get past the fact that The Voices is full of quirky comedy, you realize that the story is actually very horrifying. Jerry is beyond repair and once he gets a taste for murder, there is no coming back. Director Marjane Satrapi and writer Michael R. Perry did a great job of letting the viewer really get a sense of how out of touch with reality Jerry actually was, when scenes switch from Jerry’s view of the clean and tidy apartment to the reality of the bloody mess that truly lay around.
With all of the roles Reynolds has played throughout the years and even with the excitement surrounding his upcoming Deadpool flick, I have to say that this is definitely my favorite. He was comedic and terrifying at the same time and truly should be commended for his performance.
I highly recommend this film, if you are a fan of dark comedic films. The Voices is officially available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD tomorrow, April 7th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
I give this film 4.5 refrigerated heads out of 5.