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!

My performance of the week ending 4/11/20 on TV goes to…

Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew on The CW’s Nancy Drew.

It’s not easy playing an iconic character like Nancy Drew, especially when so many other actresses have taken a whirl at it. However, Kennedy McMann is starting to make some waves with her portrayal and in a very good way!

**Please note some spoilers are ahead, but major ones have been left out for your convenience.**

When I first heard that we would be getting a new Nancy Drew series, I was beyond excited. The show originally premiered right after Riverdale and I thought it was going to quickly become my new favorite show. However, I had some reservations about it initially and I wasn’t really sure how I felt about the new Nancy.

Nancy Drew The CW 3
Images courtesy of The CW

Sure, there is a maturity to this Nancy and a teenage drama angst that we often find on shows on The CW, but I was really hoping for a spark that would lure me in and I didn’t initially find it. However, I am so happy that I stuck around because the series got better and better as it went on.

The mysteries are so intriguing and they really keep you on the edge of your seat and Nancy has really grown and developed as a character, impressing me so much. Kennedy McMann has been channeling all the right emotions while keeping her sleuth skills up to par.

In the most recent episodes, we got quite a shock about Nancy’s identity and her connection to Lucy Sable, which still has my head spinning. The reveal was quite rewarding and now I am more invested than ever. Part of that is because Kennedy McMann has been beyond fantastic and I can’t stop watching her.

Nancy Drew The CW 2
Images courtesy of The CW

While I initially thought she was moody and self deprecating, she is now using her inner turmoil to become a force of nature herself. It’s going to take Nancy some time to adjust to everything going on, but the supernatural presence in town is not about to let her off that easy.

I’m also much more interested in Nancy’s new relationships, although things may get even more complicated after that major cliffhanger at the end of episode 17. While I originally felt like Nancy’s relationship was forced upon us with Nick, she has been making her own choices now, allowing her to truly discover her sense of self worth.

What’s next for Nancy? Well, she has to deal with the new supernatural threat before it claims her and her friends, but I know that our girl Nancy will not stop until she finds a way to defeat it.

Nancy Drew The CW 8
Images courtesy of The CW

Now that we know Nancy’s true identity, she also has to come to terms with who she is and what kind of relationship she wants with her family and friends.

I’m looking forward to more adventures with Nancy Drew and I am so happy that I decided to stick around and give this show a chance after initially having some doubts.

Sometimes it takes a show a little while to find its identity, especially when it has many predecessors. However, with each new episode, Nancy Drew is finally giving off that spark I was looking for and Kennedy McMann is at the very center of it.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

[twitter-follow screen_name=’TV_Fanatic_Girl’]

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Final Chapter Blog

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural? Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery? Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon! Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well. I really hope you enjoy!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

My performance of the week ending 2/22/20 on TV goes to…

Cynthia Erivo as Holly Gibney on HBO’s The Outsider.

If you are a fan of slow burn mysteries, this show may be perfect for you, but I was not sure how I felt about it until Holly Gibney showed up, lighting the way to an intriguing story and some spine-tingling moments that still have me cringing.

Cynthia Erivo’s portrayal of Holly is so incredible and she is the BEST part of the series.

**Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.**

The mystery behind The Outsider is dark and disturbing, as a hooded stranger seeps into the cracks of this small town with threatening and cryptic messages, along with some unspeakable acts. To make matters worse, he seems to be getting away with his unspeakable crimes, infecting people who essentially take the fall for his bad deeds. But, is this town capable of accepting a supernatural presence that defies all rational explanation?

The Outsider HBO 1
Images courtesy of HBO

Well, one person is ready and willing to look deep into the depths of this mystery. Holly asks, “Can a person be in two places at the same time?” Everyone recognizes that it’s not possible, but when evidence says otherwise, Holly is willing to search every lead to get to the truth.

Even when the others don’t believe her or think that she is wasting their time, she continues to do her job, showcasing her extraordinary attention to detail. Seriously, if I needed a private investigator, I would want Holly on my case.

Every scene with Holly is so incredible, as you almost feel like you are right there along with her, trying to figure out the mystery. Holly is brave and resourceful as well, proving to be a worthy opponent that no one should underestimate.

The Outsider HBO 2
Images courtesy of HBO

What’s next for Holly? Well, we know that the supernatural threat wants her out of the way, but I’m anxious to see how Holly will ultimately outsmart him. She has proven to be extremely perceptive and smart, but perhaps she needs some help. It’s time for someone else in town to have her back already!

Either way, I am extremely impressed by Cynthia Erivo’s performance and she never disappoints. Everyone on the show is incredible, but Erivo still stands out every single week. I’m not sure if I would have stuck around if not for her, which just goes to show you how much range she has as an actress. She pours her heart and soul out in every single role and she is so talented and believable.

I can’t wait to see what she does next!

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

[twitter-follow screen_name=’TV_Fanatic_Girl’]

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Final Chapter Blog

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

Ranking the top 5 moments from “American Horror Story: 1984” season 9 episode 4: “It Feels So Good”

Happy Thursday TV fans!  After watching the FX network’s American Horror Story:  1984 season 9 episode 4 last night, I realized that “we’ve always got a say in what happens next,” but what if you really can’t explain what is going on?  What if there really is no rational explanation for it?  Are we still in control or are we helpless?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.

In last night’s episode, “True Killers,” we learn more about Montana’s connected past with the Night Stalker, along with their shared appreciation for Billy Idol.  Meanwhile, the two killers on the loose finally cross paths, but who will end up victorious?  My top 5 moments from the American Horror Story:  1984 season 9 episode 4 are:

5

“This is aerobics.  It’s serious!”

This show is really making me laugh out loud and I love it!  In the beginning of the episode, we get an important glimpse into Montana’s past and discover that she first met the Night Stalker when he stumbled into her aerobics class.

The Night Stalker seems to hit it off with Montana right away, but reacts when one of her students decides to go off on her for her music selection.  After the Night Stalker presents Montana with a bloody surprise, she seems more turned on than scared, revealing that perhaps she has had a darkness within her all along.

4

“Promise me she’ll suffer.”

We don’t have to wait too long to understand Montana’s motive for wanting Brooke dead, as we learn that her brother was the best man at Brooke’s wedding.  Montana blames Brooke for what happened and is looking for revenge, but she clearly wants to make Brooke’s pain last.  The Night Stalker seems to be on board with killing for his girl, but does he have an agenda of his own as well?

3

“You always hated the crust.”

While Mr. Jingles is off on his killing spree, Xavier attempts to get Birdy to safety, but when Mr. Jingles shows up, it appears they used to be friends and he remembers her from the camp prior to the massacre.  We learn that Mr. Jingles enjoys a PB&J sandwich, but once he spots Xavier, it’s clear that he also has a hunger for something else.

Poor Xavier almost gets cooked alive, but Birdy is able to save him in time.  Birdy asks Xavier to put her out of her misery and he reluctantly agrees, but once he sees the burns on his face, he realizes that his dream of being on the cover of TV Guide may be over…

2

“You shouldn’t have crashed this party.”

Brooke manages to escape, but ends up caught in a net, as Rita reveals her plan to her.  Brooke says, “F*ck your research,” but she really is in quite the jam now.  Montana finds her and realizes that she can finally have the Night Stalker kill her once and for all, but of course Mr. Jingles shows up with perfect timing and we get an impressive showdown between both killers, which ends with the Night Stalker getting a tree branch stabbed through his throat.

Brooke and Montana are able to get away and this certainly ruins Montana’s plan, but Rita witnesses something horrifying when she sees the Night Stalker’s body levitating in mid-air.  His eyes turn black and he is brought back to life, reminding us of the supernatural presence still lurking at Camp Redwood.

It’s one thing to have a harmless camp counselor marching around dead, but it’s quite another to have an undead serial killer on the grounds.  We’ll have to see how this plays out, but it is keeping things interesting for sure.

1

“You never had a chance…”

We certainly get a lot of plot twists thrown our way in episode 4, as we also finally learn what’s up with Margaret.  I suspected something was off with her from the start and so did many of you, but she finally steps into the light to face Mr. Jingles.  We get to see another flashback for Margaret and discover that Mr. Jingles had somewhat of a crush on her and wanted to protect her.

Margaret used this to her advantage and manipulated him, taking her own revenge out on her bullies at camp while framing her poor “Benji Bear.”  After being locked away in the asylum, Mr. Jingles started to truly believe that he was the killer, but Margaret reminds him now that she set the whole thing up.  She even cut off her own ear to sell it, but it looks like Margaret is ready to embrace her true self again.

After shooting Mr. Jingles and eliminating Trevor, Mr. Jingles manages to get away, but the real killer has now emerged.  We know that the campers will be arriving shortly, so what is Margaret’s end game here?  Is she looking to re-create another massacre?  How will the supernatural elements come into play?  Stay tuned!

American Horror Story:  1984 episode 4 Music Soundtrack Highlight:

Billy Idol – Rebel Yell (Official Music Video)

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on American Horror Story:  1984 below in the comments section.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Final Chapter Blog

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals!