Don't Listen

12/18/2020 06:01

Film: Don’t Listen (Voces)

Year: 2020

Director: Ángel Gómez Hernández

Writer: Santiago Díaz

Starring: Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Fernández and Ramón Barea



This was a movie that I checked out as part of wanting to see other films that people were on high when it came to rounding out my year end list. This one popped up as Marknado, a friend of mine on social media, had high up on his list so I figured I’d give it a go. The synopsis here is Daniel (Rodolfo Sancho) and Sara (Belén Fabra) have a 9-year-old son Eric (Lucas Blas). They’ve just moved to a new home, not knowing the neighbors call it ‘the house of the voices’. Eric is the first one to notice the odd noises behind each door.

We start this movie out with a dirty swimming pool inside of a gate. Daniel retrieves a ball from it with a net and it shifts over to show us the house. It is pretty old and rundown, but this family has moved into it. Daniel flips houses so along with his wife of Sara and their son Eric, they move around quite a bit. The movie then takes us into Eric’s new room as he meets with a psychologist, Beatriz Arjona. She gets from the boy that he’s sad they moved and that he has to make new friends at school. He reveals also that he has trouble sleeping due to the voices that talk to him. They also ask him draw things. The movie then gives us our first taste of something supernatural when the psychologist dies on her way home. Eerily, Eric drew a bloody branch as it happened.

The boy continues to be plagued by things he hears over walkie-talkies. Daniel got these so his son can always talk to him. While the boy is the in the bathtub, he asks Sara if his father hates him. She asks where he heard this and it concerns her. Things are even more concerning when he gets expelled from school.

Tragedy then strikes the family with something happening to Eric. Daniel can’t leave the house as most of the family’s money is tied up in it to renovate and flip it. Sara can’t stay in the house though. When Daniel hears what he thinks is Eric through a recording on his phone he sent to Sara, this causes him to seek out Germán (Ramón Barea) who is an expert in EVP phenomena. He brings his daughter Ruth (Ana Fernández) who is skeptic. They’re in for much more than they bargained for when they investigate this house. It leads to a dark past and why it is called ‘the house of the voices’.

Now that’s where I’m going to leave the recap for this movie. I don’t necessarily want to go into spoilers so that gets you up to speed where this will take you. What I really want to comment first here about the movie is the foreshadowing that this movie does so well. As I’m watching this from the beginning, I knew the swimming pool was going to come into play which it does. They show Germán really early in the movie on television and again, I figured this was going to allude that he would come back in later. This movie does well in setting up things without making them too obvious and then strategically coming back to them later.

What really strikes me about this movie is how well it handles heavy subject matter. This movie goes to some dark places, but handles it in a way where it avoids going into the exploitation movie. It does something that is very depressing and can be a trigger for some, but it spurs Daniel into what he does. It also deals with the idea of suicide. This is something that really has tore Germán and Ruth apart. They’re still close, but there is a dark secret that isn’t spoken about between them. The entity in this movie is pushing suicide on many of them and it is quite convincing with the lengths it will go to convince them. This movie shocked me a few times in a good way for sure.

Again I don’t want to spoil what the entities are in this house, but it is really something that I’m a huge fan of it. It actually makes a whole lot of sense and realizing that this is from Spain, it really works with the dark past of things done in their country. What is interesting here though is that we don’t have someone who was killed unjustly. The entity that is back probably deserved to die from what we learn was done in the past. The way that their execution was carried out might have gone too far, but they did some evil deeds for sure.

Where I want to shift over to next would be the soundtrack for this movie. I’ll be honest, I don’t love the title. It does make sense in the grand scheme of things, but it really isn’t a viable option to prevent what is happening. I’m assuming the original title is translated as Voices, but that is a bit generic and there are at least 2 movies in the horror genre with the same title. Regardless, we have this static that is telling Eric horrible things and then it branches out into others. The sound of static is just creepy to me now-a-days thanks to a lot of movies I’ve seen. There are a few set up jump-scares, but they were pretty effective. One got me for sure as I wasn’t expecting it. I also think that the musical selections worked to the advantage of this movie. With the title, if these weren’t effective it would have been a major letdown.

Since I’ve been going over the scares, I’ll shift over to the effects. This movie has some really good practical effects. The opening death looked really good. I like the look of the entity. They were quite creepy. They do another scare with strobe light that was eerie. On top of that, they’re using infrared cameras and there is some creepiness that comes from them as well. There is a bit of CGI, it is looks fine to me and for the most part really seems to be there for enhancement and not the focal. I can get down with that for sure and I’d say the cinematography is well done. They really liked to use the depth of focus. You really need to pay attention to the whole frame as they like to hide things in the background which makes me uncomfortable in a good way.

The last thing that I’ll go over would be the acting. Let me lead off stating that no one here is going to win major awards. That’s not meant as a slight or that they weren’t good. I first off want to commend both Sancho and Fabra. They do really well as these loving parents. We get that baseline before they become the grieving parents after what happens to Eric. I believed them and it made me feel for them as well. Blas was fine as their child. I really liked Barea in his role. He at first doesn’t want to help, but then he becomes pulled in by the facts. He also has some trauma to deal with as well. Fernández was good as well. She’s quite attractive and I like her as the counter to her father in not necessarily believing. Everyone that played the entities did well in being creepy which along with the rest of the cast rounded this out for what was needed.

Now with that said, I’m really glad that I didn’t sleep on this movie. Seeing how high it was on a list for 2020 makes a lot of sense now. This movie really has some good emotions along with the dark subject matter that it is dealing with. It really made me feel uncomfortable with what they did with the depth of focus, the truth of what happened here and what this entity is forcing people to do. The soundtrack and sound design help with the atmosphere, the acting was solid and the effects were well done in my opinion. I don’t really have a lot negative to say if I’m honest. Overall I’d rate this as really good movie, bordering on great. This is a contender for me for my year end for sure.


My Rating: 9 out of 10