Netflix Review: Things Heard and Seen (2021)

Certificate: 15

Director: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

Screenwriter: Elizabeth Brundage (based on the novel by), Shari Springer Berman

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, James Norton, Natalia Dyer

Genre: Horror, Mystery

Runtime: 121 Minutes

Language: English

Rating: 2 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

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A Manhattan artist relocates her young family to a historic hamlet in the Hudson Valley. As she settles into a new life, she begins to suspect that her marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals her new home’s history. Based on the acclaimed novel by Elizabeth Brundange. – From IMDB

Part Paranormal Haunting and part domestic thriller, I think I would have enjoyed this film a lot more had it been able to pick a genre.  Instead, I felt that neither storyline was played out to its full potential because even with it’s slightly elongated runtime, there wasn’t enough time to fully flesh out both stories.  Instead, what we got was a lot of extraneous scenes where nothing was really happening, that were designed to build an unsettling atmosphere and instead fell really flat for me.

The first half of the fil isn’t too bad.  It is setting up the story and building up the atmosphere, but in the second half it goes way off book and tries to do too much.  Sets up too much conflict and too many plot strands and just completely loses it’s way.  And then what is your reward for sitting through all of this for two hours and getting thoroughly bored and confused?  A really unsatisfying ending that I am not entirely sure I completely grasped if I’m honest.

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Amanda Seyfried and James Norton are both great in their roles don’t get me wrong, there performances are probably the best thing about the film.  But George (played by Norton) is such an unlikable character that you don’t care for him at all.  And Catherine (Played by Seyfried) doesn’t have enough character to really get to know her at all.  She is a very passive character throughout, so nothing she does rally effects the story, we are just watching her react to what is going on.

Netflix have put out a lot of decent thrillers in it’s time and more than a few good horrors as well.  Sadly this one doesn’t fully commit to either one and therefore just ends up kind of directionless and disappointing.

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