It's fair to say that it's probably impossible to count the number of films based on murders released over the year, there would have to be thousands, but very few would have the raw dark comedy slant that The Voices provides, and it's a rollercoaster ride from star to finish. Admittedly, when we saw the trailer for this film (available here), we were intrigued. Cute, talking, animals but with a very adult twist to the film.
Jerry Hickfang (Ryan Reynolds) is that chipper guy clocking the nine-to-five at a bathtub factory, with the offbeat charm of anyone who could use a few friends. With the help of his court-appointed psychiatrist Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver), he pursues his office crush. However, the relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn after she stands him up for a date. Guided by his evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog, Jerry must decide whether to keep striving for normalcy, or indulge in a much more sinister path.
With an R18+ rating here in Australia this certainly isn't a film for youngsters. Besides the murders and gore, even the talking animals are pretty vulgar, but often in a hilarious way. At one point a girl arrives at Jerry's house at which point the dog, Bosco, proclaims "Oh, Jerry, I just need a whiff of her butt". In another scene after Jerry comes home after a night out Bosco greets him with excitement like and dog would, whereas Mr. Whiskers simply sits there and says "Where the fuck's my food, fuckface" "Food!" "Food. Now!" before a cutaway to some cat poo on a sofa where he says "I left you a little gift on the sofa, a reminder why you can't leave us alone without food." Yes, it's vulgar, but anyone with a pet will know exactly how true this is!
The Voices isn't a film for everyone, it's quite dark and gruesome at times, but those with the stomach for it will likely enjoy this film as something a little different.
As with the video there's not a lot to shout out about here besides the primary audio track. Fortunately this lossless audio track is a cracker and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) track offers a clear, lively experience. The film is quite dialogue driven, and at all times it's clear to understand, while, occasionally when the film has a need for surround sound it kicks in nicely as well including a thunderstorm around the 19 minute mark.
Only one other audio track is present on the disc an English Audio Description track which is presented in a very disappointing Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224kbps. While the film isn't filled with surround sound it would have been a nice inclusion. Subtitles are also somewhat lacking with only an English Descriptive Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired available through the menu and is accurate to the on-screen dialogue.
This disc is totally devoid of any extras (besides trailers for Knock Knock (2:00), The Gallows (2:25) and Cooties (2:08) upon disc startup) which is a bit of a shame as the American release includes some extras including Deleted Scenes, a Visual Effects Comparison and details about creating Bosco and Mr Whiskers, Animatics and more. We're not sure how long they run for, or if they're worth your time, but I'd rather they were included then missing.
Review By: Dave Warner