Voice from the Stone has the perfect horror setting with a creepy old castle. Unfortunately, it turns into a twisted romance towards the end!
The trailer for Voice from the Stone definitely gives away too much. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with lots of movies recently. Still, this movie does offer a lot more than the trailer. Just not always in a good way.
Emilia Clarke is the star of the movie, even if it doesn’t really deserve her. In case you can’t place the name, Emilia Clarke plays the feisty little blonde badass with pet dragons on Game of Thrones. Also, she was the most recent actress to portray the iconic Sarah Connor in Terminator: Genisys.
In other words, we usually see her portray a no-nonsense woman, who takes charge.
Her character in Voice from the Stone is a strong woman as well, but definitely less colorful. She dresses a bit like a nun. Very demure and all in gray. Then again, since the story takes place many decades ago, it makes sense.
And even if her appearance is very colorless, her personality is all about love and empathy. This is probably why she works with kids (and why they love her). However, from the moments she arrives at her latest workplace, it’s clear that no one reciprocates the caring vibes.
Voice from the Stone takes an unfortunate turn
Let’s just get down to the nitty-gritty, shall we?! Voice from the Stone starts out pretty well but does take an unfortunate (and strange) erotic and romantic turn.
Even though the main character, Verena (Emilia Clarke), is very focused on the child, she’s hired to care for, we just can’t avoid the trope; She falls for the widower. In a very strange way that is definitely open to interpretation.
It’s not that this couldn’t have worked out since she does get close to both the young son and his father. After all, they did lose a mother and wife, respectively, and are grieving. However, the way the story unfolds is just sloppy!
The main problem is the fact that dreams, fantasy, and reality are one big jumble. As soon as you’ve learned what the framing of a scene looks like when we’re seeing something that isn’t real, they go and mix it up.
That’s not clever storytelling or “keeping the audience engaged”. It’s just lazy and uninspired.
Emilia Clarke is too good for this movie
The thing, I was left wondering the most, is why on Earth the charismatic Emilia Clarke was part of this movie. I heard that Maggie Gyllenhall was originally attached, and so I can imagine the movie must have sounded differently than how it turned out. More intense passion than bored housewife fantasies.
Also, Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) was rumored to play the male lead, which I can definitely imagine would be good. Instead, we get Marton Csokas (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) portraying a bitter man with an accent – and questionable tan – for the umpteenth time. Unfortunately for him, he actually does a really good job. It just doesn’t help this mess of a movie much.
Voice from the Stone was a solid (and very respectable) 3 stars for me until the twisted romance ruined it. And while it does have elements of the wonderfully dark The Others at first, I was just annoyed at the ending. Emilia Clarke’s character also starts out great, as does the young boy, who manages to be both creepy and sad.
So, if you’re ready to embrace the clichés with the horror, then you should enjoy this movie at an acceptable level. At least now you’ve been warned, which I wish I had been.
Voice from the Stone premiered at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival on April 20, and was released on VOD in the US on April 28, 2017.
Director: Eric D. Howell
Writer: Andrew Shaw (screenplay), Silvio Raffo (novel)
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Marton Csokas, Caterina Murino, Lisa Gastoni, Remo Girone, Edward Dring
In 1950s Tuscany, a young nanny, Verena, is hired to help a young boy who has refused to speak since his mother died.