Not your average take on mental health, The Voices mixes tragic, touching and truly stomach-turning moments with scenes of pure hilarity to give you something weirdly funny and daringly disturbing.
Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) works in a toilet-packing factory, going through the motions of everyday working life; returning home every night to a small flat he shares with just his dog and cat. Despite what you may think however, Jerry isn't lonely, as both of his pets talk to him... on a frequent basis.
This isn't Dr. Dolittle though, but something a lot darker, as the voices that Jerry hears coming from the animals are a coping mechanism he's invented within his own mind due to deep-rooted emotional problems he has dealing with the world and his own past.
They act as an unconventional conscience throughout the whole movie; his dog, Bosco, being the more supportive and understanding side of himself, whilst the cat, Mr Whiskers, is ridiculing, selfish and so apparently the devil on Jerry's shoulder willing him to do terrible things.
When Jerry falls for Fiona (Gemma Arterton), a girl who is employed in the accounts section of the factory, his failed attempts at courting her leave him angry, confused and, stood up. Driving home from their not-a-date, Jerry happens across a stranded and rain-soaked Fiona, fresh from her night of karaoke with the girls, and offers her a ride home.
Things take a turn for the worse when a freak accident results in him accidentally killing her and before you know it, her still perfect head is in his fridge. Now with a taste for death, a rather chatty head demanding "a friend" from inside the cooler, and a judgemental Scottish cat urging him to give in to who he is, Jerry begins to fight irrepressible urges to become one of the eeriest 'accidental' serial killers we've seen on screen since Norman Bates.
Reynolds doesn't only portray Jerry brilliantly but must also be praised for voicing both Bosco and Mr Whiskers, his furry friends, too. You'd never guess this fact from the audience but it seems perfectly fitting when regarding that they're merely a figment of Jerry's imagination within the movie.
The Voices is independently made and bound to prove a Marmite film amongst viewers. You've got to commend Reynolds for opting for these richer kind of roles that prove himself as an actor rather than always starring in blockbusters that are more certain to boost his bank balance enormously.
A comedy guy through and through, it makes for a refreshing change to see him get stuck into something with a lot more depth and to pull off such a temperamentally see-sawing and complex character is really impressive. There are moments where you feel truly sorry for his innocently smiling face, but in the next moment you realise you'd be spooked to be caught alone in a room with him and suddenly that same toothy grin seems sinister.
Branded as a comedy but questionable as to whether it truly is one, The Voices carefully avoids being too scary through portraying the majority of the film through Jerry's perspective. Whenever he's not taking his medication (which is virtually never), Jerry sees every physical thing in his life as perfectly fine, even when they're not.
Through his eyes, a make-upped, cleanly cut severed head is nowhere near as shocking as the decomposing, gory one we're exposed to on the odd occasion. A tidy, clean apartment is not the typical den of an unhinged murderer, but then it is only him who sees it that way. It's through this trick that director Marjane Satrapi gets away with pitching this as a funny film.
As we see everything from Jerry's mind, it also allows for some truly stunning visuals too, as we're presented with intoxicating, dream-like sequences and wonderfully used colour between bright neon pinks and yellows and muted greys and browns.
The DVD itself hosts enough special features to make them worthwhile watching. From reasonably extensive interviews with the main cast about their roles within the movie and what attracted them to playing such characters, to a featurette detailing how Reynolds recorded the voices for Bosco and Mr.Whiskers. There's also a segment called "Prank Scare" which shows how the studios set up a fake fridge inside a shopping mall and spooked people by hiding a real-life talking head inside, which proves rather chuckle-worthy.
There's a good amount of extended and deleted scenes, to add a little extra to the film, for fans who were left wanting more. However, what's a slight shame is that there is no director or cast commentary which for a movie like this - would have been incredibly interesting to listen to!