Thursday, October 15, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: The Voices

2014, Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) -- download

What makes a good horror comedy? Subverting the tropes?  Working entirely within the tropes but putting a good comedic spin on it? Good jokes? Wry humour? Gross outs? Of course, we know the answer is never one of those things specific. Maybe Kent can weigh in more, as he is the comedy guy, but I always find myself not sure whether a premise is going to work. And even if it makes me laugh, its not always a good comedy, let alone a good movie.

If you run with the premise, The Voices is about a schlep of a guy working at a factory who hears his dog & cat talking to him. The cat, standard marmalade tom has a Scottish accent. The dog, a big rolly polly mastiff with drooping eyes and jowls, has a cartoony big galoot voice. Both are just the our main character Jerry's voice, i.e. Ryan Reynolds having some fun. Jerry is a little unbalanced, and not because the pets talk to him, but because of what they ask him to do. The dog is a nice guy, and the cat is expectedly an asshole, a sociopathic one to boot.

This movie looks like it wants to be set in North England, in a small factory town with all kinds of outrageous characters working there. Yet, its probably just somewhere in the midwest. Gemma Arterton is the extroverted office worker he has a crush on. Anna Kendrick is the introverted office worker who has a crush on him. Neither seem to notice Jerry is not just a handsome nice guy but very very much off. I am not sure if I bought into the fact Kendrick could like him in that way, despite that being Ryan Reynolds.

On a fateful night Jerry has to drive Gemma, ok her name is Fiona, home from a night out. Its pouring and she has no choice. She is flirty, dismissive and drunk. When she sees him deal with the deer they hit on the slick, rain obscured road, she really really sees how off Jerry is. And he has to kill her.

The movie is funny. The cat is funny. The talking heads in the fridge are funny. The acting is decent and the script is as well, if familiar. But it is just not a very good movie. Again with the not so good, not so bad. I am getting a bit frustrated. Even the break with the splendor of Spring, we are getting shelved with bad attempts to do out of the ordinary, comedy horrors.

And I am not really sure why the movie had to end with a song & dance number. Really really not sure, other than to highlight, "Hey look at us, a fun quirky movie! Songs! Dance! Those are fun right!"

Another celebrated director saddled with a crappy followup American movie.