The Voices

The Voices ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Honestly, this was a tough watch for me, and I had to sit with that for a while to try to figure out why. It's a well-directed film, with great production design. Reynolds somehow successfully pulls off being an awkward dweeb who people might find off-putting, and the whole thing revolves around an unreliable cinematic narrator, with the state of Reynolds' medication measured in how cute and clean or how horrifying his house appears. It's a movie about a psychotic from inside his own perspective.

But I kept thinking about Hannibal. In that show, horrific, grotesque, baroque murders happen in every episode, and it upset me less than The Voices. I even made an unprecedented move (for me) and actually skipped through like 10 minutes of screentime because I couldn't stand to see what I knew was going to happen to Anna Kendrick happen to Anna Kendrick.

I think what happened here is a miscalculation. The reality of Reynolds' life is revealed in a mid-movie flirtation with taking his meds, and while Reynolds could skip a pill and unsee it, I couldn't. Even back in his fun, pristine reality where Gemma Arterton's severed head gave Reynolds life advice, I could still imagine what was really happening. The gear shifted in my mind, and this was suddenly Maniac, but done as a comedy, which made the whole thing seem meaner than films that are way more hardcore. At one point there's a dream sequence, just a step inside Reynolds' head, where all of his victims dance and celebrate him, and it just actively pissed me off. The movie wasn't trying to redeem him, but its aesthetics definitely were. Fuck off, aesthetics.

This was a Black List script, but I think it worked better in black and white on the page. In full, horrible color it turned into a candy colored endurance test.

Block or Report