Recently, Netflix has gained some pretty good titles to offer its customers, including Love and Monsters starring Dylan O’Brien. On April 30th 2021, Things Heard and Seen made its way onto the service, making a few waves in the process.
It’s the 1980s, and Catherine (Amanda Seyfried), along with her husband George Claire (James Norton) seem to be living a decent life, until George gets an offer to work at a University in the country.
Catherine, supporting her husband, follows him to live in a large home in the Hudson Valley with their young daughter Franny (Ana Heger). Once at the new house, Catherine feels a sense of uneasiness, but passes it off as nerves due to moving from the city to a small town.
As George gets to know his colleagues and the campus he works on, his wife stays at home and tends to the old building they now live in; that is until she finds an old bible on a shelf in her kitchen.
Catherine decides to do some digging, and finds out that her house isn’t the idyllic place her husband painted it to be.
Tension builds up within the Claires’ marriage, and as Catherine connects the dots between things she’s heard and things she’s seen, she becomes adamant that their home is haunted; her husband doesn’t believe a word of it.
So, what did I think?
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a new horror film, and this one really quenched my thirst, so to speak.
This film was miles better than I expected it to be; I thought it would be another story about a man not believing his wife and thinking she’s crazy. While that is a small portion of the plot, this film was so much more.
I have to give praise to Seyfried first of all; her acting really brought Catherine to life, and as a viewer, made me feel for her and her situation. Her character was prim and proper, and with an unrelenting curiosity that, among the creepy vibe, gave her a strong standing.
Another thing that made this movie as good as it was, was the camerawork, colour palette and atmosphere. From the second I began to watch this film, right to the very end, the ambience that shrouded the characters and the setting was exceptional.
This creepy, hollow vibe did not let up for a second, poking its way through every scene and every word spoken; the dim colours and lighting inside the Claire’s home was well done and distressing, as it really paved way for the negative and harrowing feel that gave this film the feeling in which something could happen at any moment.
This negative ambience within the couple’s new home did not just stay in the house; the disturbing feel that the building gave of seemed to follow Catherine in her endeavours to find out the history of her home, and it stuck to George in a way that painted him in a less-than-favourable light.
The camerawork was yet another thing I loved about this feature; the subtle zooming in when the couple are talking, the gentle panning across scenes, and the amazing ways the spirit is revealed was so artful and clever. As Catherine walks out of the shot, there’s the spirit, in a mirror or a corner of the room.
I really loved the fact that this movie gripped me from start to finish with the disturbing yet intriguing vibe it exhibited. It was also brilliant how both George and Catherine had their own separate issues that, over the course of the film, merged together and slowly tore them apart.
The one criticism I have, however, was the ending. While all the dots were connected and the story seemed whole, it went on a little too long. The duration of the finale of the movie was longer than you may want, but the way the story ended was clever, haunting, and definitely not what I expected at all.
Despite this minor critique, this feature really showed that the horror genre still has tricks up its sleeve. From a sinister spirit that may not be what it appears, to a family being torn apart by much more than Catherine’s issue with food, her husband’s lies and controlling behaviour.
Things Heard and Seen is a fantastic new horror, and despite being set in the 80s it felt so modern. While it included classic horror tropes, the atmosphere and characters were so riveting it made the whole thing a perfect late-night watch.
Watch the trailer for Things Heard and Seen below!
Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal
Love and Monsters follows a determined Joel (Dylan O’Brien) on his quest to get his girl back after seven long years; all he has to do is walk over 80 miles through an immensely dangerous mixture of monsters. What could go wrong?