Things Heard & Seen (2021)

Based on All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage, this movie reminded me equally of Cold Creek Manor and What Lies Beneath, except that it really makes great use of Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School of painters.

Catherine Clare (Amanda Seyfried) had a career as an art restorer in Manhattan until her husband George (James Norton) lies his way into a job teaching art history in Chosen, New York. In their new home, Catherine finds an old ring and a Bible with the names of those who had once lived in the house scratched out.

Much like the aforementioned Cold Creek Manor, the children of the last tenants come to help fix up the house. Beyond the supernatural feeling of the home, George starts sleeping around and alienating his wife from any relationships that she starts to form.

By the end of the film, George has gone from bad husband to pretty much a supervillain, taking the paintings of his dead cousin as his own, attacking anyone who will keep his perfect life from continuing and spitting profanity at anyone near him.

But hey! Michael O’Keefe from Caddyshack shows up, as does Karen Allen as his wife. F. Murray Abraham is — as always — dependable. And the ending is pretty wide open to interpretation, as is a scene where Catherine pulls a flesh-colored tadpole out of the sink while she’s trying to get her ring out of the drain.

Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini have directed several movies together, including The Nanny DiariesGirl Most Likely and American Splendor.

A lot of reviews of this movie have been upset that the film seems to be building to something and just kind of ends. As for me, that was the thing that I really liked. It just gets wild at the end and enters a world where things don’t make sense. Then again, I like the ending of The Beyond and my taste is not to be trusted at all.

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