The first act of the film is slow to start. It is a lot of scenes of both sisters standing, or sitting, around, and talking. The two have been distant for a little while, so this is meant to rebuild their relationship, as well as sow the seeds of what is yet to come. However, there are only so many times one can watch Grace waking up in the middle of the night and seeing Catherine doing something odd before it gets repetitive.
Mind you, the first act does have several good aspects to it. Specifically, the chemistry between Markowitz and Matlock makes them very believable as sisters. They play off each other quite well. Plus, the dialogue, especially Catherine’s biting, harsh way of talking, is excellent. It is not exactly realistic, but more of a heightened, ideal form of speaking that absolutely works for the strange happenings of the film.
“…the chemistry between Markowitz and Matlock makes them very believable as sisters.”
Once Grace believes she might be going nuts, The Voices picks up considerably. From sleeping until 4 PM multiple days, to knowing exactly what her sister’s going to say, Grace’s descent is far more engaging than the setup and familial reconciliation. The revelations that start the third act are also quite fascinating and really bring home the sister’s tragic story into a terrifying whole.
But, the very end, as in the last shot of the film before the credits roll, does not quite work. Well, more accurately, it feels abrupt. What happens and why absolutely makes sense given the plot trajectory and characterizations, but concluding on that note is unsatisfying. An epilogue of sorts is needed to fully understand and feel the impact that all the decisions made have on the characters.
The Voices has a slow setup and a slightly disappointing finale. But, the cast is excellent, and once the plot kicks into high gear, the eeriness and intrigue pile up quickly. As such, the movie’s good elements outweigh the bad and makes for a solid, if slight recommendation. Just again, avoid the posters.
"…avoid the posters."