As you may know, I’ve decided to go against my better judgement and do a horror movie review series. For someone with an extremely active imagination, this is a horrible idea.
However, I’m this far into it, so I might as well continue.
A new horror movie, Things Heard and Seen, came out on Netflix on April 29. I was just planning on spending the time watching New Girl until I was ready to start packing for move-out, when the preview caught my eye.
While I hated Mamma Mia, I really enjoyed Amanda Seyfried, so I thought I’d give it a chance.
By now, I’ve given you enough exposition to know that there are going to be spoilers ahead, so I’ll leave my non-spoiler review here (TW: brief mentions of the following: domestic violence, eating disorders).
8/10— A little slow paced at the beginning, but it gave us loads of exposition and lore. I really enjoyed trying to guess what happened next (even though it was spoiled by someone who really doesn’t understand how “does the dog die” works), and I was really rooting for the main character. I usually don’t feel bad for the white people who move into a haunted house in horror movies, but I really liked Catherine. There was a surprising amount of depth to the ideas presented in the film, and I think the movie veers out of stereotypical horror film territory with it’s themes on life and death. It also deals with some pretty heavy topics, like a supernatural cycle of abuse (nice metaphor I guess) and the main character’s eating disorder.
I’d watch it again, and I might even try to get my hands on the book it’s based on. That’s pretty high praise for a Netflix Original.
Now, for my spoiler-filled rant:
What. The. Fuck.
I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out what was going on in the movie, but the ending is kind of left for your interpretation.
Honestly, I’m just glad Justine lives, because I love her, and that would have really bothered me if George had gotten away with everything.
I miss Floyd. I need a Floyd in my life. I like boats, Mr. DeBeers, and I promise not to murder you like [REDACTED] did (let’s be real I think we all know who did it).
I was also really digging the 80s setting. I’m a big fan of that Northeast Farm aesthetic, especially in fall weather, and I naturally loved the creepy house.
Now, on to the deep stuff:
I thought the concept where only evil people could be influenced by evil spirits was interesting! The fact that the men in the house seem to make each other worse was definitely a pointed commentary on “boys will be boys” and toxic masculinity, though I worry that people will take it too literally and try to absolve George of what he’s done. George had no problem hurting people even before they moved, so he’s not a victim here.
I’ve never seen The Invisible Man, starring Kate Moss, but I feel like the generic themes are very close.
I’m also an avid fan of The Good Place, a sitcom with a surprisingly “cerebral and cognitive” basis (what that pretentious phrase means is that the characters talk about smart stuff and the moral of the story relates to being the best person you can be), so I enjoyed watching a movie that introduced theology and philosophy in a way that wasn’t boring.
Now, I haven’t really looked into the works of Emmanuel Swedenborg, but I did look at some of his influences in modern authors, and the man had many. Spiritualism (popular in America in the late 1800s to early 1900s) was heavily based on these theories, and I’ve loved every fiction novel I’ve read that involves those elements.
I am a little disappointed that some of the storylines didn’t go anywhere, as they had real potential. Why don’t we hear more about that Mystery Cousin? Why did George do what he did? What about Mrs. Smit? Why was her name blacked out of the family bible? How did she die? Why wouldn’t Shelby give George a letter of recommendation? Does the man even have a PhD? I have so many questions that I would have liked answered.
Was it a masterpiece of cinema? No.
Most movies I enjoy aren’t. But I was entertained. The characters were compelling, the plot had a good premise. And the ending was relatively satisfying.
Like I said, I’d watch it again.
Until next time,
Xoxo, Scaredy Cat.