Tuesday, 17 November 2015



Here's a few details of your lead character. He's good-looking but socially inept, a little awkward around women, with a particular fixation on the one who's completely out of his league. He's been institutionalised following the traumatic death of his mother and abusive childhood at the hands of his father; he's now undergoing regular therapy sessions and is on medication (which he isn't always taking). And he hears voices. Why, I can't help wondering, is this guy the lead in a romantic comedy?

Admittedly The Voices is a macabre romantic comedy, but were it not for the pastel pink everywhere and the wacky talking animals this would be straight out of the Scuzzy 1980s Grindhouse Exploitation handbook - underneath the silly romantic farce it's a close neighbour of Don't Go In The House, Maniac or Nightmares In A Damaged Brain. Likeably goofy Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) works in the packing department of a bathroom supplies company in Nowheresville: he only has eyes for the phenomenally glamorous but uninterested Fiona (Gemma Arterton) despite the obvious attraction from her colleague (Anna Kendrick). Having fortuitously wangled her into his car, he accidentally kills her when she runs off in horror - but once he's dismembered her body (egged on by his evil cat and watched mournfully by dog) he finds her severed head wanting him to kill someone else to keep her company in the fridge....

Eventually, of course, it ends the only way it can: with a big musical number in which everyone sings "Sing A Happy Song" over the end credits while Jesus Himself turns up driving a pink forklift truck. Because....? The Voices is definitely an oddity; I can't honestly say I didn't enjoy it but it's just weird to see a straight sleazy horror Z-film transformed into a glossy date movie with a sweary Scottish cat voiceover and the kind of cast who'd never normally show up in a second cousin of Don't Answer The Phone. Interesting rather than great, but worth a look if only for the style/content disjunct.


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