Things Heard & Seen: Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Friday, April 30, 2021

Things Heard & Seen: Movie Review

It's pretty criminal to even classify "Things Heard & Seen" as a horror film in our opinion. It's a mystery-drama film with some small sprinkling of horror elements. While we get what its trying to gun for, the slow and uneven pace it decides to take wasn't really worth the revelations it eventually uncovers.
In 1980, Catherine Clare (Amanda Seyfried) trades her life and career in Manhattan when her husband George (James Norton) lands a teaching job at a small town college. The sudden shift from the hustle and bustle of city life into an isolated antique home isn't easy for Catherine as she finds herself mostly alone and isolated from her neighbors and townsfolk. It doesn't help that Catherine is religious while her husband doesn't really believe in anything that relates to the occult or faith and even though she and her daughter senses a sinister darkness lurking in the old house, George is adamant that it is all in her head. But soon, Catherine will realize that the unseen forces that hound her should be the least of her worries and that the physical and tangible people around her life are the ones who can hurt her most.
If we could sum up "Things Heard & Seen" in a phrase, it would be "a battle between the physical and the mystical". All throughout the film, there's this tug-of-war between the belief and disbelief of the paranormal but the mystical elements take the back seat most of the way. The film just didn't know what to do with its supernatural aspects and this shows as there is a lack of cohesion and proper development of these elements against the backdrop of our characters. At the end of the day, these ghostly elements were non-essential and non-consequential to the film's overall narrative and character arcs - or at least these weren't developed and paced properly to be impactful. And worse, if you're expecting a scary and terrifying experience then "Things Heard & Seen" won't be your cup of tea. We seriously believe that the film could have turned out so much better if it was marketed and developed into a drama-thriller instead. But it was not all bad for "Things Heard & Seen". The highlight for us was the beautiful camerawork from the film's directors and there are a handful of scenes and transitions that were astonishing and amazing to witness. The connection to art and Swedenborg were also interesting aspects for us. Finally, Amanda Seyfried delivers a powerful, nuanced but a wasted performance in "Things Heard & Seen". 
Rating: 2 reels






Why you should watch it:
- if marketed and fully-made as a mystery-drama film, it could have worked better

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the horror is non-essential and has little impact overall

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