Looks like Netflix has a fairly straightforward take on that classic cinema genre, “Gentrifying White People with Incredible Bone Structure and Their Picturesque Fixer-Uppers, Which Are Haunted.”
We’re not mad at it.
Catherine Clare (Academy Award®-nominee Amanda Seyfried) reluctantly trades life in 1980s Manhattan for a remote home in the tiny hamlet of Chosen, New York, after her husband George (James Norton) lands a job teaching art history at a small Hudson Valley college. Even as she does her best to transform the old dairy farm into a place where young daughter Franny will be happy, Catherine increasingly finds herself isolated and alone. She soon comes to sense a sinister darkness lurking both in the walls of the ramshackle property—and in her marriage to George. Based on the acclaimed novel by Elizabeth Brundage, THINGS HEARD & SEEN is written and directed by Academy Award®-nominated filmmakers Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (American Splendor). Also starring Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things), Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul), Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Academy Award®-winner F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus).
Honestly, there doesn’t look to be much in the way of original ideas here, but sue us: we’re suckers for a decent old-fashioned haunted house tale, even when it’s of the “Are there ghosts, or is she just going crazy?” variety. Seyfried and Norton are pleasing to look at and smoothly professional with whatever material they’re given. It’s a pretty strong cast overall and from what we can tell here, this looks like an unusually pretty horror movie, which is sometimes our favorite kind of horror movie. No predictions, but given the comforting lightness (relatively speaking) of the approach here, this feels like the final gasp of no-strings, low-effort lockdown entertainment. People are way more into the comforting and expected entertainment right now than they are for the more challenging stuff, in our observation. This looks like a pleasant diversion.
A Film By: Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman
Written For The Screen And Directed By: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
Based On The Novel: ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR, By Elizabeth Brundage
Film Release Date: April 29, 2021
[Photo Credit: Netflix – Video Credit: Netflix via YouTube]