Spoiler-Free Review of “Things Heard & Seen” on Netflix: Amanda Seyfried challenges horror tropes

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“What do you want?”

Things Heard & Seen is a horror thriller film that premiered on Netflix on April 29th 2021. The film stars Amanda Seyfried, James Norton, Rhea Seehorn, and Natalia Dyer. It runs for approximately 120 minutes.

Based on the novel, All Things Cease to Appear, the film centers around a couple who relocates to the Hudson Valley. Their house has a lot of history in it as a darkness emerges and secrets are revealed in their marriage.

Here is the trailer:

Things Heard & Seen has a lot of unsettling horror sprinkled throughout the film, but it does have a very familiar premise that may seem overdone. Does the film do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Things Heard and Seen Spoiler free review 1

Images courtesy of Netflix

Amanda Seyfried puts forth a valiant effort.

I’m already a fan of hers, but I think she was born to be in horror films. There is just something really magnetic and believable about her. Throughout the film, her character deals with a lot of terrifying ordeals. Her marriage is not what it seems and the house she has just moved into clearly has something lurking in its walls and yet she still manages to think things through rationally which was really refreshing to see.

Moves away from tropes.

This film could have very easily fallen into many of the familiar tropes and plot devices we see in these types of horror thriller films and yet it decided to do thing differently which was really refreshing.

We didn’t have the typical jump scares and slow-moving walks through the dark. Rather, an unsettling terror built up as Amanda Seyfried’s character handled things as a normal person would in real life. She investigates different things in the house but in a smart and practical way.

When she discovers that some kind of spirit might be in her house, she looks into it without skipping a beat.

I also thought the ending was unique and I liked how the evil actions in her everyday life overshadowed the supernatural presence.

The Cons:

Things heard and seen spoiler free review 2

Images courtesy of Netflix

Slow pace.

This movie really didn’t need to be two hours long. I thought the pacing was really slow and it prevented this movie from reaching its full potential. It just felt like so much was dragging and I stopped paying attention during several scenes because I just wanted to figure out what was going on at the root cause.

Nothing truly extraordinary.

The film made an effort to do things differently. Its ending has a lot of meanings embedded in it and I think it had a great cast to work with even though I absolutely hated James Norton’s character.

We had glimmers of real potential throughout the film, but I’m not sure it reached its full potential and things took way too long to unfold in the end.

So am I in or out?

Things heard and seen spoiler free review 3

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m 50/50 on this one.

I’m in for Amanda Seyfried, but I’m out on the overall slow and boring pace of this film. This watch was kind of frustrating because I thought that the film really did make an effort, but if it had gone a little bit further with some other tweaks, this film could have actually been really eerie and thought-provoking.

I loved the idea of women coming together to finally be heard and the focus on the horrors of the people who surround us rather than what we cannot see, but it failed to deliver in a lot of other areas.

I don’t think that you need to move this to the very top of your watch-list, but Amanda Seyfried’s performance is worth checking out if you don’t have much else to watch.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Things Heard & Seen in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Spoiler-Free Review of “The Nevers” on HBO Max: Steampunk Buffy

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“We’re meant to be as we are…”

The Nevers premiered on HBO and HBO Max on April 11th 2021. The series is set to air six weekly episodes for part one and then the remaining six episodes of part two will air at a later date. The series stars Laura Donnelly, Ann Skelly, Olivia Williams, and James Norton. Each episode runs for approximately 50-55 minutes.

The latest series created by Joss Whedon is set in Victorian times, following a group of women who are “touched” with special abilities. Our main characters run an orphanage and try and protect other women with these unique abilities from unknown threats in this fantasy steampunk-esque new world.

Here is the trailer:

The Nevers may seem extremely similar to Whedon’s other shows at first glance, but it does have a new unique setting to explore with a mysterious plot tangled in a tale of female empowerment. Does it do enough to stand out from its predecessors? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Leading ladies worth our time.

The dynamic duo of Amalia True and Penance Adair is a dream come true and these two won me over immediately. They have great chemistry together and will immediately give you some Buffy and Willow nostalgia. 

Amalia is very much like Buffy in a lot of ways with her quick wit and fighting skills while Penance’s quirky humor and strengths involving technology scream Willow. While many critics see this as as a con, this formula works.

I did see the similarities which helped me connect with them as a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I am confident we will be able to peel back more layers of each character as the episodes air and hopefully we will get to see what truly makes both of these ladies tick and how their abilities work.

Either way, we’re off to a good start because if I don’t care about the characters, it’s hard to keep me invested.

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Fun fight scenes with flair.

I’m all for a well thought out fight scene and some clever puns and maybe that’s the Buffy fan in me, but it makes for some pretty entertaining television.

The fight scenes were really fun and I loved the costumes and setting. This show could have easily fallen into the trap of too much talking and fluff in Victorian times like The Irregulars, but there is already more action and humor embedded in to balance things in a better way.

The Cons:

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Villain rip-off.

I didn’t mind a lot of the similarities I saw during the show. I’m all for a show about female empowerment and the quirky friendship already felt authentic to me just from the pilot episode.

That being said, I thought the new villain, Maladie was a bad rip-off of Drusilla, who is one of the most iconic villains in television history for me. It just felt overdone and stale and I expected a lot more here.

Messy start and a bad rep.

There’s a lot going on in the opening episode which left me confused about a lot. We are introduced to a lot of characters and this show can easily lose focus if it isn’t careful. I think that as long as it focuses on the main characters and the mystery behind the “touched,” it will do enough each episode to keep us coming back for more.

I want to judge this show on pure entertainment value, but there are already a lot of unfavorable reviews and a lot of discussion involving Joss Whedon, who created the series. Even though he left the project and we will have a new showrunner for part 2, the show feels very much like a Whedon show.

Olivia Williams appeared in Dollhouse, Jane Espenson was a writer on Buffy, and the themes and characters follow a Whedon formula so it will be hard to separate him from it completely. 

So am I in or out?

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 4

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m in!

There will certainly be a lot of talk about this show for a while, but I’m going to give it a chance because I think there is enough substance there. The characters are really likable and I kind of really dig the steampunk Victorian vibe. 

The show started off a little bit messy and all over the place, but I think once it finds its groove and settles into its main plot, it can be pure magic. The ending of the pilot episode had me on the edge of my seat and I immediately wanted to watch the next episode. 

I think that as long as you go into this show with an open mind, you will be entertained.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Nevers in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!