The Daily Stream: The Voices Stars A Pre-Deadpool Ryan Reynolds In A Hilariously Disturbing Rom-Com/Serial Killer Story

(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they've been watching, why it's worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)

The Movie: "The Voices"

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: Acclaimed director Marjane Satrapi followed up her Oscar-nominated "Persepolis," a black and white animated feature about a rebellious young Iranian girl navigating life during the Islamic Revolution, with a pitch-black comedy about a happy-go-lucky guy named Jerry romancing a co-worker. The only problem is he's a schizophrenic serial murderer.

Why It's Essential Viewing

"The Voices" is a criminally underseen movie. Starring a pre-"Deadpool" Ryan Reynolds as Jerry, it's a masterclass on the unreliable narrator.

Visually, the movie is all bright colors and happy music, an almost idyllic 1950s-style reality in how corny and happy everybody is. At a certain point, we realize that we're seeing the world through our lead's eyes. As that world begins to crack, it reveals a darker, more honest reality underneath.

Now, I'm spoiling it a little bit for any newbies, and I apologize for that, but I don't know of a better way to sell you on it except to highlight just how smart this story is. I'll steer clear of plot spoilers from here on out, now that you know what you're in for.

Reynolds is perfectly cast as this aw-shucks dude with a bad case of puppy love. Think of the likability he brought to "Free Guy" and then imagine that kind of character is actually, like, Ed Gein.

What I love so much about this movie is that without the horror elements it would be a perfectly lovely romantic comedy. Both Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick have great chemistry with Reynolds, and in a weird way, you want to see them all happy. I happened to see "The Voices" when it premiered at Sundance in 2014 and loved it right away. Unfortunately, the rest of the world kind of ignored it when it finally hit theaters. That sucks for Satrapi and her cast and crew, but that means a whole new generation of Ryan Reynolds fans inspired by "Deadpool" and "Free Guy" have a secret little hidden present to unwrap.

"The Voices" is singular. There's nothing else quite like it, and those movies tend to survive the test of time, no matter what audiences and critics at the time thought. It's a movie that asks you to live in a very uncomfortable headspace for a couple of hours, whiplashing you between laughter and outrageous violence and then back to laughter again.

It's a movie that never lets you settle in, which can be jarring for some folks, but that's also what makes it unique and fascinating. Since it has a foot in two very different worlds (a rom-com and a "Se7en"-ish thriller), you're never fully sure where it's going to go. Who is safe and who is going to end up as a head in a refrigerator?

I think it was about the moment that Jerry's pets started talking to him that I knew I was in for the long haul. You either buy in right away or you'll bounce right off this movie's surface. I bought in, and I think, now that Reynolds has reached a top-tier pop culture level, more people will be willing to follow him on this journey than they were back in 2015 when "The Voices" hit theaters.

If this sounds up your alley, then pop on over to HBO Max tonight and give it a shot.