MANIAC played as a comedy…sort of
One of those rare and marvellous movies that it’s difficult to know how to describe. Is it a horror film with some seriously dark humour, or a comedy with some scenes of horror that will be too much for regular comedy fans? Even I still don’t know & I’ve seen it. What I can say is that THE VOICES keeps second-guessing you to the extent that it ends up being a genuinely disturbing viewing experience in all the right ways.
|…and for those who prefer not to have the steelbook|
Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) has a nice job driving his shiny pink forklift truck at the bathroom supply store where he works. He fancies Fiona (Gemma Arterton) but she isn’t interested. Nevertheless he contrives to overcome her lack of enthusiasm by inviting her out on a date. Meanwhile, back at the disused bowling alley he lives in, Jerry has other problems. His dog Bosco and cat Mr Whiskers both talk to him. Bosco is peace-loving, but Mr Whiskers is a psychopath with a Scottish accent. Jerry’s psychiatrist asks him if he’s been taking his medication but we already know the answer.Jerry and Fiona’s date goes horribly wrong. Jerry ends up chasing Fiona through the woods and then stabs her to death. On the advice of Mr Whiskers he takes the body home to chop it up and dispose of it. He keeps her head in his fridge, though, and soon she’s asking for a friend to keep her company in there…
|Saving up for an entire set of Gemma Arterton|
THE VOICES feels like MANIAC treated as a comedy, perhaps one directed by John Waters but without the filth. Jerry’s world is happy, shiny and dayglo when he’s off his meds (which is most of the time) but the murders are horrible and when we get to see flashes of what Jerry’s home really looks like, we realise we’re in the presence of a terrifying and horribly disturbed man. These broad swings from glossy comedy to splattery horror are going to be enough to turn off the less discriminating, but THE VOICES really is something special and deserves plenty of love. It’s directed by Marjane Satrapi who gave us PERSEPOLIS and she does an excellent job of giving us a new original spin on the serial killer tale. She is helped immensely by Ryan Reynolds giving us a performance that’s almost up there with Elijah Wood’s Frank Zito. Jerry is raving mad and very dangerous, but you only ever feel sorry for what he has become, a victim of his own illness and a grim upbringing.
|Talking dog, talking cat, talking head. I love this film|
Arrow Films’ DVD includes a number of extras including cast and crew interviews, a prank scare where a fridge with a live actress inside was left in a shopping mall, deleted and extended scenes, and a behind the scenes bit showing Ryan Reynolds recording all the different animal voices. Exclusive to the Blu-ray are animatics and more behind the scenes stuff.
Original and touching while also being gross-out and disturbing, THE VOICES aims high and succeeds. Another one for my list of films of the year, and possibly the only one I will ever see where Jesus drives a pink forklift truck during a musical number over the end credits
Arrow Films are releasing Marjane Satrapi's THE VOICES on Region 2 DVD, Region B Blu-ray and Zavvi exclusive steelbook on 13th July 2015