Don’t Listen or Voces is a horror film directed by Ángel Gómez Hernández and starring Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Fernández, Ramón Barea and Belén Fabra.
The horror genre has its fair share of tropes. There are too many movies out there which live off of once-hit formulas and recycle them over and over again, so much so that sometimes the narrative elements are also the same. With that in mind, we jump right into Don’t Listen, a movie so inspired by similar tales that it’s embarrassing.
Don’t Listen follows Daniel and his family, who move into a mansion in hopes of fixing and selling it. However, the mansion is haunted and will not rest until it claims all the living souls.
How many times have we exactly watched the haunted-mansion-out-to-get-you trope? The idea of a family moving into a haunted house to fix it reminds me, first and foremost, of The Haunting of Hill House. However, the genius of Hill House can never be replicated in my eyes so that brings up the question as to where does that leave this film? Don’t Listen feels like a copy-paste of different horror movies that we have seen over the years. However, the creators did not think it was necessary to at least make the narrative gel together and make it coherent. It’s a messy, sloppy amalgamation of different movies that leaves you extremely unsatisfied.
The horrors in Don’t Listen are few, if any. The ghost walks around in the background ominously which does not evoke any sense of dread. You can guess all the twists from the very beginning which leaves watching this painful. Add to that the excessive jump scares, and you have a film that is a snooze-fest and is extremely annoying, all at the same time.
Additionally, there’s absolutely no character build-up. You follow a bunch of people you have no idea about and are expected to feel bad for them when they die. But why should you? Do you know them? Do they mean anything to you? Nope. The creators did not add enough flesh and bones to any of these characters, and thus their pain and problems mean nothing to you. As a result, you aren’t invested in the storyline.
Screams and disembodies voices, people slowly walking around looking scared, a witch trial thing that tries to take centre stage, flies that go into ears (ok, that’s horrifying) and a lot of arguing – these are the things that make up Don’t Listen. It’s an underwhelming experience that makes you wonder where you’re supposed to feel scared.
Don’t Listen trudges under the weight of its ambition. If the film had tried to be a psychological thriller, it would’ve made more sense. However, unfortunately, it tries to create something which is already there and fills it with drama that no one asked for. The result is half-baked and unscary and leaves you annoyed. The end-credit scene is a testament to this ambition – I don’t know why it was significant with respect to the story at hand and the film does not think it necessary to explain either.
The actors, however, were the saving graces of Don’t Listen. Rodolfo Sancho, Ramón Barea and Belén Fabra do a wonderful job in the little they were given. Sancho, especially, plays the role of a bereaved father very well and is believable in the role. If only they were given more to work with.
Summing up: Don’t Listen
Don’t Listen is an extremely underwhelming movie that does nothing new. It is an amalgamation of stories that we have seen in the horror genre since forever. There’s nothing new or innovative that keeps you hooked. It’s just one cliché after another.
Don’t Listen is streaming on Netflix.
Liked the Don’t Listen review? Read our other reviews here.