Things Heard and Seen | One Genre Masquerading as Another

Going in I was like “I am not a horror fan, I get scared too easily and I have enough stress in my life” but I watched Things Heard and Seen because it was Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables, Dear John); James Norton (Little Women, McMafia) helped too. Adapted and directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (10,000 Saints, The Nanny Diaries) this movie is based on Elizabeth Brundage‘s acclaimed novel “All Things Cease To Appear.”

Premise: An artist and her family relocate to the Hudson Valley, moving in a new home that has a gruesome history but her own life might have an even sinister darkness in it.

Review: The premise sounds life your run of the mill horror flick, which is not my favorite. What I did not expect was that as the movie unfolds it starts to look more like a drama with horror undertones. Afterwards I found out that Brundage‘s book was inspired by a true crime murder and I can totally see that now.

This movie is a slow burn, at times it can be quite…plain – to put it nicely. There’s a lot of set up, it depicts the young couple’s life before and after the move to the new house. Their life is not perfect, it has its challenges but even those problems kind of pale in comparison to what’s looming for them. In that aspect this movie is like a reenacting of a true crime drama and if you put aside the haunting stuff that’s what it is. It’s one of the reasons why two thirds in I was a bit hooked. We learned more about the couple, more about who they are, and it’s eye opening because we start to see the truth. See how far people are willing to go to get what they want.

The story might be a mix of genre that don’t mesh very well here but the cinematography is beautiful, the locations look great. The acting also helps making this palatable, Seyfried, Norton and the rest of the cast did a great job. But as good as their performances were throughout it didn’t stop me from feeling like the supernatural aspects of the movie kind of came out of nowhere, as if it was added on to the story to spice up the film.

Things Heard and Seen ends up being a true crime drama dressed up as a supernatural horror thriller I didn’t think I’d be wrapped in the story as I got.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

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