"Voice of Shadows" (2024) [Romford Horror Film Festival]

by Joseph Perry

Normally here at “The Good, the Bad, and the Verdict”, both Joseph and Mike give their thoughts on a slice of cinema. However, here and there they will be taking the reins in a solo outing. For this installment, it’s Joseph with a solo review of  Voice of Shadows by writer/director Nicholas Bain, which screens as part of the Romford Horror Film Festival.

A young man tries to prevent his dark past from repeating itself when his girlfriend inherits an estate where she needs to abide by eccentric stipulations for the deal to go through.

The Good
Gabriel (Guillermo Blanco), a working class man who moved to the United States from South America, is a man with secrets from his past that haunt him to this day. His girlfriend Emma (Corrinne Mica) and his sister Celeste (María José Vargas Agudelo) are close with Emma’s great aunt Milda (Jane Hammill), and when Milda dies, Emma inherits the woman’s spacious home. Attorney Ernesto (Martin Harris) informs them about a specific set of rules that Emma must follow to live there, which include Gabriel never staying at the house. This being a horror movie, the protagonists naturally ignore the rules, and all hell breaks loose. 

Voice of Shadows combines gothic haunted house elements with diabolical supernatural elements to rather strong effect. Gabriel makes for an interesting protagonist, as he is a stranger in a strange land in more ways than one: as a transplant from South America made to feel like little more than hired help from Milda, and as a man of Catholic faith in a residence that houses unholy mysteries. Blanco plays the role well, and Mica also gives an impressive performance as Emma, whose feelings toward Gabriel change for multiple reasons. Writer/director Nicholas Bain invests his debut feature with an eerie atmosphere and shows an adept hand at building mystery and suspense. Voice of Shadows also takes a stronger look at the faith side of good vs. evil than many movies of this kind.

The Bad
Voice of Shadows attempts to pack a lot into its 90-minute running time and although it doesn’t feel convoluted, it does present quite a bit to unwrap at times. Also, many of its elements stick to supernatural and haunted house tropes rather than trying new twists to them. I won’t go into specifics here so as to avoid spoilers, but seasoned fear-fare fans are likely to feel familiar with, and perhaps even stay a step ahead of, several of the proceedings.

The Verdict
With no shortage of panache, Voice of Shadows aims its sights high and though it may not quite reach all of its lofty goals, it strives to entertain and does so rather well. The production values are solid, the majority of performances are quite good, Neil Murphy’s cinematography is great, and the score from Utkucan Eken and Elif Karlidag adds greatly to the proceedings. Bain shows a flair for visual choices — which makes sense as he is also a graphic novelist — and direction, and Voice of Shadows should serve as a fine entry into the world of feature films for him.

Voice of Shadows
, from Nicholas Bain, screens as part of the Romford Horror Film Festival, which runs February 29–March 3, 2024 in Romford, U.K. For more information, visit https://www.romfordhorrorfestival.com/.

Voice of Shadows
Directed By: Nicholas Bain
Written By: Nicholas Bain
Starring: Bee Vang, Martin Harris, Corrinne Mica
Run Time: 1h 30m
Rating: NR
Release Date: 2024