Title: The Voices
Rating: 4 Stars
This is one dark motherfucker.
Jerry is working in a bathtub factory. He’s a relentlessly cheerful person, although clearly he is putting on an act of how a relentlessly cheerful person should act.
He comes home to a dog (Bosco) and a cat (Mr Whiskers). It turns out that he holds active conversations with them, in that he talks to them and they respond back to him. Bosco is your cheerful, affirming dog caricature and Mr Whiskers is just evil. They’re clearly both representing different sides of Jerry’s personality.
Later, you see him in a therapist’s office. He’s clearly suffered some trauma in his past and has been undergoing years of therapy. His therapist repeatedly asks him to take his pills, but he refuses to.
He meets a woman and they’re driving along the road when a deer crashes through the windshield. Jerry hears the deer beg him to end his suffering. Jerry kills the deer with a knife. The woman, who obviously cannot understand the deer, is horrified at Jerry’s act and jumps out of the car to escape Jerry. Jerry hunts her down and accidentally stabs her. As she lies dying, he kills her to end her suffering.
Back at his home, he confesses his crime to Bosco and Mr Whiskers. Bosco tells Jerry to go to the police because he is a ‘good man’. Mr Whiskers tells Jerry that you’re only alive when you’re killing, so now that he’s started, he might as well keep killing.
Mr Whiskers wins the conversation and Jerry retrieves the body, dismembers it into Ziploc containers, and puts the head in the fridge. The head is now talking too and begs Jerry to take his medication.
Jerry does and when it kicks in, his two best friends, Bosco and Mr Whiskers, no longer talk to him, and his apartment, which in his delirium is spotless and well organized, is actually a total mess, splattered in blood, with feces on the floor, and crammed with full garbage bags. Horrified at his actual reality, he flushes the pills down the sink.
From this point on, his life disintegrates with multiple killings and the inevitable ultimate showdown with the police.
It boggles my mind that this movie was made. There was absolutely no way that this movie was going to be a blockbuster. It was made for $11,000,000, which is a pretty small budget for a movie nowadays, but how in the fuck were they going to make that money? It looks like it grossed somewhere around a million dollars worldwide and DVD rentals haven’t been that much either.
Did someone actually say/think that a movie about a goofy delusional serial killer was going to somehow make $20,000,000 or whatever it takes to make a profit on a movie with that budget? Did maybe the financiers think that Ryan Reynolds’ name would somehow carry this movie?
Which brings up the other main question: how does Ryan Reynolds decide to do this movie? Reynolds has had, over the last 10 to 15 years, a pretty checkered career from a box office point of view. He clearly has charisma to spare, and his star is now clearly ascendant with Deadpool, but two years ago he read this script and thought, yeah, let’s do this?
What is the decision process that an actor goes through when accepting a script? Does he think box office potential? Does he see this as a great twist on his general snarky nice guy persona? Is he really just shitty at choosing movies? Don’t get me wrong, I think the movie is great and I was well entertained, but I just don’t see the market here.
Johnny Depp was making pretty random movies with very limited appeal for a long time and decided, apparently on a whim, to make a movie based upon a Disney ride, for fuck’s sake, and now has a net worth of $~400,000,000, so who knows?
Anyway, however it was done, it was a pretty awesome movie. I had pretty low expectations, but it was laugh out funny and pretty deeply disturbing.
What more can you ask of a movie?