Sundance Film Festival has a reputation for launching the sort of film that festoons its promotional posters with icons representing film geek awards like so many pretentious Christmas tree ornaments. But Ryan Reynold's latest film — a "horror comedy" about a man who murders and dismembers women because his evil talking (Scottish) cat tells him to — is a departure from that model. In fact, it sounds fucking bananas.
Vulture reports that The Voices, which stars Reynolds and Anna Kendrick and was directed by Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian woman behind the graphic novel Persepolis, a tender and heartbreaking depiction of her girlhood in Iran during the Islamic revolution. Needless to say, "The Voices" is a... different sort of thing.
Things start pleasantly enough, but by the time Reynolds makes his first kill, repeatedly stabbing his pretty coworker Gemma Arterton while also apologizing, "I'm sorry if I hurt you!" things take a real turn for the crazy. The scene where Reynolds saws Arterton into little bloody pieces and pops her severed head into the fridge — then imagines the head talking to him, too — pushed more than a few audience members to their limit, thanks to the movie's gruesome, bone-cutting sound effects. Eventually, Arterton's head "asks" Reynolds, "Can you get me a friend?" and he sets his murderous sights on Kendrick, his pretty coworker.
Sounds like fun for the whole family, if by family we're talking about the family from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (dinner table grandpa would love the part at the end where Ryan Reynolds finally confronts the talking cat).
Based on early reviews, "The Voices" isn't destined for the award show accolades of other Sundance favorites of the past like "Winter's Bone" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Here's one reviewer's description of the plot:
His mental illness is first used for uncomfortable comedy, as Mr. Whiskers, who speaks with a thick Scottish brogue not unlike Shrek, swears at him for not being smoother with that girl in accounting. [Talking pet dog] Bosco has a Southern accent and is more genteel. A full 30 minutes pass before the gimmicky laughs grind to a halt, and the macabre plot sets in.
Two things: first, this movie is destined to rock a million slumber parties, so, congratulations, middle schoolers with permissive parents. Secondly, I once went out with a guy who had a cat named Mr. Whiskers and now I feel oddly grateful to be alive.
Despite the fun, fun, fun director Satrapi had with all the blood and gore and camp and LOL crippling socially destructive mental illness, she says she doesn't plan on using a cat in a film again, because they don't listen. Also, the cat they used in the film didn't get along with Ryan Reynolds, who is afraid of cats. The horror.