'Voices': a solid castizo recycling of Blumhouse terror, as full of cliches as it is of daring surprises

'Voces' is the debut of Ángel Gómez, a filmmaker who has been on fans' lips for the success of his short film' Behind'(2016).

Which will be converted into a feature film by himself, under the production of Sam Raimi, and that has also led him to shoot his debut on the big screen in Spain with this effective translation of the supernatural horror cinema of scares from factory James Wan to the Iberian terrain, perhaps not as polished as 'Verónica' (2017) but with added value of possible franchise.

The idea of ​​'Voces' as a product is curious. On the one hand, without any shame, he recycles a good handful of American horror movies, be it recent such as the 'Insidious' saga (2010) —parapsychologist with a dead partner and pending issues—, that father of Rodríguez with the ghosts of 'Sinister' (2012) or a more classic one like 'Terror in Amityville' (The Horror of Amityville, 1979) and its flies, which come out, by the way, like cockroaches in the crack of' Babbadook '(2014).

On the other hand, it stands before these ingredients with a much more serious, more dramatic and to a certain extent sober tone, which inevitably leads to the experts of this type of terror in Spanish who were ahead of James Wan and his people with titles such as 'Los Sin Nombre' (1999), 'El Segundo Nombre' (2002), 'Nos miran' (2002), 'The Child's Room' (2006) or 'El Orfanato' (2007), a master's degree in paranormal and demonology with designation of origin and even with their own language.

Cheap scares versus big surprises

For this reason, 'Voces' has a point of vindication of what is ours and another pot of perversion of what was already well planned. 

What strikes the most about the ensemble is the break in the slow and timeless tone with which it begins when the festival of volume scares begins. 

There are scares and scares, but the mounting bump and the rise of the soundtrack must be the hardest. Make no mistake, James Wan uses it, and the two installments of 'It' abuse it, but they prepare the moment well, they integrate the soundtrack with these outbursts and they also work each hit on the visual.

In 'Voces' it becomes a vice as frustrating as when used in the lower 'Malasaña 32' (2019), but also in the worst spin-offs in the Warren universe. 

The imposition or not of the studies of these jump scares is of little importance, they are out of date from their origin and the excess reaches to multiply in riveted moments, such as when a walkie talkie sounds in the middle of silence, up to twice with the same mechanism. 

And it 's a shame, because Gomez has other brilliant planning moments where he only plays with depth of field.

The director plants grim presences at the bottom of the plan, which is not known if they are silhouettes or reflections, a tactic similar to that used by 'The Curse of Hill House' (The Haunting of Hill House, 2019), which hid its ghosts in the nooks and crannies, often just leaving stains on the wall paper, catching shadows or fuzzy furniture in the background so that each shot has a disturbing suspicion. 

It is in that same use in which 'Voces' balances his tendency to squeaky blow, precisely with a sample of where his mastery could have been .

Aged taste of national terrors

There are plans that open to great generals that reveal more than meets the eye and, in general, a classicist taste for the Gothic that alleviates their outings to the cheapest terror. 

But fortunately, 'Voces' has many more surprises, such as an argument that, under the typical paranormal investigation scheme, explores a mythology of its own that gives rise to many unexpected turns, turns on itself and an unexpected climax, well planted and closed in a way very elegant with the same starting plane giving a fairly round coda.

This good use of their own rules, which coincides with some surprise hit movie this year, is weighed down to be a bit bigger by some cliche dialogues that look like they were straight out of a box of template dashes and indicate a lack of cooking for find the key to the characters beyond the stereotypes "affected mother who always goes to her mother's house", "pear boy who hears voices", "bearded dad bricomania", with phrases chosen to make the necessary exposition in every moment.

But, again, 'Voces' overlaps with rhythm and a few impact scenes, from the tremendous prologue, to the decorated tree, the “Damien” moment and other well-placed revelations that make the experience a well-planned swing that does not take long. to get to the point or take unnecessary turns before reaching the key points of his classic approach. 

The film also moves the focus of the protagonism from a correct Rodolfo Sancho to the parapsychologist played by Ramón Barea and his daughter, an endearing hybrid of Tristanbraker and Jiménez del Oso.

'Voces' makes you want a sequel with Germán

The presence of Barea makes the film win whole, not only because of the presence of a great, great actor, but because it brings with it an element that is absent in the rest of the film, and it is the traditional character that it lacked, despite being a kind of substitute for Lyn Shaye in the 'Insidious' saga , as Concha Velasco was in 'Malasaña 32'.

There is an aftertaste to series such as 'Beyond' (1976-1981), 'The Chronicles of Evil' (1992), 'Sabbath' (1990) and Sebastián D'arbó's supernatural research films, which take our side 'Fourth millennium', which has always been there, complementing the treatment of the dark and the fantastic, giving a superstitious cañí touch that already speaks its own language and takes us back to the Linares palace or the Bélmez chambers. 

Opportunities to expand this spice are also lost, such as that visit to the old woman with the net curtain that reveals little.

'Voces' is honest and unashamed, eager to play with the viewer, and making many brave and unusually dark decisions. 

Despite its flaws, it has a touch of its own that makes you want to see more of that senior researcher and his daughter, with a post-credit scene full of winks to other Hispanic and Italian terrors that opens the doors to our own horror franchise, something that, seeing the passion that Gómez and his team show, and the tremendously enjoyable result, would be excellent news.

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