Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Shari Springer Berman , Elizabeth Brundage
‘Things Heard & Seen’ is a new Netflix horror film starring Amanda Seyfried as an artist relocates to the Hudson Valley that begins to suspect that her marriage has sinister darkness, one that rivals her new home’s history. The history is unknown to her, but the house is speaking, and ghosts are surrounding this highly dysfunctional couple who may or may not survive this relocation. What appears on the surface as a typical ghost story does deliver an interesting twist, however, isn’t utilized as well as I’d hoped.
The uniqueness of this film’s ghosts may immediately turn off a fan of the truly demonic and gruesome possession films and haunted house stories. These ghosts are far timider than that, and you won’t find many of the over-the-top tropes found in the genre in ‘Things Heard & Seen’. The true horror comes from the relationship between Seyfried’s character and the husband, played by James Norton.
The husband is starting a new job as a fresh-out-of-school professor hoping to catch the attention of his tenured coworker, played by the great F. Murray Abraham. As he attempts to show off his intellect, he’s also looking for the attention of a young college student played by ‘Stranger Things’ Natalia Dyer. This begins the suspicions and mania in Seyfried’s character but not much momentum in this happens until the third act.
When the film finally reveals what the hauntings really are, I was completely engaged and found it to be really unique and even moving at times. It’s when they chose to focus more on the drama of the Husband than intertwining the Wife more towards teh third act where I started seeing the lost potential.
Overall, ‘Things Heard & Seen’ isn’t able to fully capture what the director intended. There are some interesting concepts and uniqueness to its style of horror but could be much more fleshed out than what is here. Go in with lower expectations, or if you aren’t a fan of really scary haunted house films, check this our and you may wind up enjoying yourself.