Starring: Amanda Seyfried, James Norton, Natalia Dyer, F. Murray Abraham, Karen Allen, Rhea Seehorn, Alex Neustaedter
OUR RATING: ★★☆☆☆
Netflix horror thriller written and directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Set in the 1980s, Things Heard & Seen (2021) follows married couple Catherine and George Clare (Amanda Seyfried and James Norton), who move from the city into an old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley. As Catherine does her best to transform the old dairy farm into a home, she finds herself increasingly isolated and alone. She soon comes to sense a sinister darkness lurking both in the walls of the property, and in her marriage.
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Lynne: You’re a big city girl now with your dream job. You thought this through?
Catherine Claire: George really wants this. He hates the struggle here. It’s gotten worse since his father cut him off. And I had no idea he was even taking money from them. Apparently, it’s been happening since Franny was born.
Catherine Claire: George has made some big sacrifices for me, and I owe it to him to at least try.
George Claire: I think I’ve found the perfect house for us.
Mare Laughton: As I told George last week, it’s from the late 1800s. There’s definitely updating that needs to be done here.
Catherine Claire: Yes, it certainly could use a paint job.
George Claire: Yeah, but look at these bones, huh? Amazing!
George Claire: [referring to the house] We’ll make it happy.
Catherine Claire: You smell that? It smells like car exhaust fumes. Right?
George Claire: Yeah. I guess I smell it.
Catherine Claire: And it’s getting stronger.
George Claire: Do you think ghosts use premium unleaded?
George Claire: I guess I’m a bit of a cliché, the New York cynic. That how a painter as brilliant as Inness could fall for some 18th century mystic still baffles me.
Floyd DeBeers: Well, Swedenborg, he wasn’t just some mystic. He keenly understood that everything in the natural world has a counterpart in the spiritual realm. And Inness painted landscapes with this in mind.
George Claire: My trouble with Swedenborg is his communicating with angels and ghosts. Glorifying death as this grand passage.
Floyd DeBeers: You should know that Swedenborg still has a devoted following in this neck of the woods, myself included. We even have séances on occasion. I’ll invite you.
George Claire: I will bring my wife. She is the true believer of the family.
Floyd DeBeers: Well, you are now officially in Inness territory. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing things his way.
George Claire: You know he killed someone? Over a game of tennis.
George Claire: Caravaggio.
Willis: Oh, well, I’m not surprised. People get away with all kinds of horrible things.
George Claire: Are you speaking from personal experience?
Eddie Vayle: You should come on in. The water’s great.
Catherine Claire: Believe me, it looks very tempting.
Eddie Vayle: You know what they say about temptation. Easiest way to kill it’s just to give in.
Eddie Vayle: [referring to George] What’s he like?
Willis: Dishonest. Deceitful.
Eddie Vayle: And how would you know that?
Willis: Because I found him attractive.
Catherine Claire: [reading from the book] “All of us on Earth are associated with those in the spiritual world who are like ourselves. We are, in a sense, united to them.”
Willis: What are you looking for here?
George Claire: I don’t really know.
Willis: You’re a presumptuous f***er, aren’t you?
Catherine Claire: He’s got a social life at that school, and I’m isolated.
Catherine’s Mom: Something’s wrong. I can hear it in your voice.
Catherine Claire: I’m starting to see things. And I’m scared to tell George about it.
George Claire: [to Eddie] Do me a favor. My wife doesn’t know that you lived here, or what happened. I think it would be better if we kept it that way. She’s a nervous woman, and, well, she wouldn’t want you around if she found out.
George Claire: It seems a little odd, no? That you’d want to be here at all.
Eddie Vayle: Well, taking care of this house comes second nature to us.
Willis: You think because I f*** you, I’m fooled by you? I’ve been around guys like you my whole life.
George Claire: What the hell are you talking about?
Willis: My dad made a fortune defending all of them. Thieves, con men, psychopaths. And they all got off, because that’s the way the world works for men.
George Claire: Okay. Look, I see that you have some pretty awful ideas about men.
Willis: I have awful ideas about everything.
George Claire: [referring to their house] My wife thinks ours is haunted.
Justine: Well, she’s probably right. They’re all haunted a little bit.
Bram: After all, we’re in Headless Horseman country.
Bram: You know, I came up here to write the Great American Novel. But I spend most of my time tending to my garden, if you get my drift.
Justine: [about having kids] Bram and I were conflicted about that for a while, and then Mother Nature made the final decision. And she made the right one. It all worked out perfectly.
Catherine Claire: I was conflicted too, but just like that, it happened. And then we got married, which I was also conflicted about. I guess you could say I’m a conflicted Catholic girl at heart, dutifully going through the motions.
George Claire: It must be so nice to inherit a fortune, and then spend all day not writing a book.
Catherine Claire: God, we are two smart people. We should’ve known better.
George Claire: Known what?
Catherine Claire: That I’m only here for the imaginary book jacket bio that you have in your f***ing head! The professor, with the wife, and the country home. I gave up everything for you!
George Claire: Oh, God. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry I f***ed up both of our lives!
Catherine Claire: And the worst part is, this is all I have.
Catherine Claire: I am so sick of everybody blaming everything in my f***ing life on me not eating!
George Claire: [to Catherine] I didn’t mean to hurt you. I would never hurt you. But I also I have not been sensitive to your needs for some time. And for that, I owe you an apology. More than an apology. One thing I do know is that I love you.
George Claire: We’re all so inconsequential, Floyd.
Floyd DeBeers: Swedenborg would suggest otherwise. He’d say death is only the beginning.
Floyd DeBeers: [referring to the cover art] It’s a soul transitioning into the afterlife.
Catherine Claire: Really?
Floyd DeBeers: The painter followed Swedenborg, so he believed that death is parallel to birth, but divine.
George Claire: Floyd, believe me, you do not want to get my wife started on all that stuff.
Floyd DeBeers: We’re not alone, are we?
Catherine Claire: What do you mean?
Floyd DeBeers: She doesn’t mean any harm. She has reasons for lingering.
Catherine Claire: I’ve seen her, and so has my daughter.
Floyd DeBeers: Because she’s here for you. She wants you to know that.
Catherine Claire: At first, I was terrified, of course. But now, every time I sense her, I feel comfort. I know that doesn’t make any sense.
Floyd DeBeers: It makes perfect sense.