It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"The Sound of My Voice" is a sci-fi thriller made with smoke and mirrors. No special effects, no other worlds, only the possibility of time travel, which you can't show but can only talk about. In fact, it's probably not science fiction at all, but belongs in some related category, like a story from the old Weird Tales magazine.
We meet Peter and Lorna, a young couple who are members of that most common Los Angeles set, would-be filmmakers. Peter (Christopher Denham) is interested in a San Fernando Valley cult and has enlisted Lorna (Nicole Vicius) in his plan to make a clandestine documentary exposing it. His preparations include swallowing a radio transmitter to collect sound and dialogue, although one hopes it doesn't record any intestinal gurglings.
It's a low-rent cult. After being told to strip and shower, the two are blindfolded and led into a drab, ordinary basement, occupied by several cult members dressed in white garments. They learn the drill, including a complex handshake that includes so many secret grips and twists one could surely infiltrate any fraternity with it.
A hush falls, and Maggie (Brit Marling) enters in a white veil. She is tethered to an oxygen tank, sits cross-legged in the circle and gradually shares her story. She is from the year 2054, where a civil war is raging. Her body is so vulnerable to present-day toxins that she can only consume organic food grown by her followers, and her source of protein is their blood. She is never dire nor dramatic, sounds comforting, but makes strange demands. For example, the cult members must vomit to purge themselves, something Peter claims he can't do ("not even as a child"). Under Maggie's spell, he successfully hurls, which tells you something.