Things Heard and Seen is a 2021 Netflix original horror film.
0 out of 10 stars. Terrible ending and there were giant plot holes.
Catherine and George Claire move to upstate New York with their daughter Franny. George hires two local boys Eddie and Cole to help get the place cleaned up, without telling Catherine that they were previous tenants in the house. George recently received his PhD from Columbia and gets a job as an art professor at the local college. His boss Floyd and his colleague Justine, the weaving instructor, become close friends with Catherine.
Almost immediately after moving into their house, Franny starts seeing the ghost of a woman. Meanwhile, Catherine is smelling car exhaust in their bedroom and George tells her she’s imagining it. Then Catherine begins seeing the ghost too. So Catherine starts investigating the history of the house. She discovers the house was built over 100 years ago by Reverend Jacob Smut and his wife, but the most recent residents were Calvin and Ella Vayle and their sons Eddie and Cole.
They have a party with George’s work colleagues and their neighbors. From the realtor who sold George the house, Catherine discovers Calvin Vayle drugged his wife and sons then turned on the car in the garage, closed the windows, and filled the house with carbon monoxide. Calvin and Ella died in their bed, but Eddie and Cole survived and now live with their uncle. George never told Catherine any of this. At the same party, Floyd, who is clairvoyant, goes upstairs with Catherine and feels the ghost’s presence. He tells her the ghost is there to protect her and suggests a seance.
Catherine and George fight because he’s been lying to her and gaslighting her, making her think she’s crazy. Meanwhile, George begins an affair with Eddie’s girlfriend Willis Howell, a horse groomer. She’s 19, barely legal. When Catherine returns George’s library books, the librarian tells her that one of them is not his. It belongs to a female student Willis Howell. So Catherine now knows he’s also cheating.
At a dinner with George’s family Catherine discovers he also lied about his art and possibly killed his cousin. Apparently when George was a teenager, his cousin had died in an “accident” while with George and all of his artwork was stolen. This is the same artwork displayed in George’s office as his own. He used it to get into Columbia.
After the dinner, they fight and George hits Catherine. The next day Eddie notices the bruise on her face and they hug. But that soon turns into something different and they make love.
Meanwhile, George has told so many lies, they are about to catch up with him. He takes his students on a field trip to the New York Metropolitan Museum and is seen there by his old department head at Columbia who knows he didn’t finish his PhD and didn’t get a recommendation letter from him. So how did he get a college teaching job? George tries to lie his way out of it, but the department head goes back to his office and calls Floyd. When George gets back from the field trip, Floyd is waiting and gives him one day to come clean before he reports him to HR.
Meanwhile, Justine has also caught onto George’s lies. She was on that field trip and overheard George lying to that department head. She’s torn between her loyalty to Catherine and reporting George to HR. Then she goes to a campus cafe and runs into Willis Howell wearing the scarf she made for George’s mother. And she realizes he is also cheating on Catherine.
Floyd goes sailing regularly and that day when he gets ready to leave the dock, George invites himself aboard, supposedly to apologize. Once they are out on the water, he kills Floyd and returns sopping wet having just swam back to shore. Justine is there waiting and see him. She confronts him about the scarf, not realizing she’s also just witnessed him returning from killing Floyd. George chases her down in her car and causes her to have an accident. She’s taken to the hospital and is in a coma.
Here’s where the plot gets stupid.
When George gets home, he sees that Catherine is in the process of leaving him. So he drugs her and Franny then kills Catherine with an ax while she’s sleeping. He has Cole watch Franny the next day and goes to work as usual, telling Cole to leave Catherine alone because she’s ill. This establishes his alibi. When he returns home, he “finds” Catherine dead and reports the murder.
The sheriff just happens to be the realtor’s husband. They both already know what a compulsive liar and creep George is. They immediately know he killed Catherine, but can’t prove it. Then Eddie and Willis come forward and expose some of his lies.
Meanwhile George and Franny stay with his parents until his mom takes down a phone message from Justine: I remember everything. In a panic, he goes out on the lake in a sailboat to fake his own death, but the weather is bad and he apparently drowns.
As the film ends, we hear the voices of Jacob Smut and his wife who describe their philosophical view of death. He was a Calvinist and she was a Swedenborgian, a believer in death as a path to the divine. Over the years, their ghosts have caused residents of the house to commit murder and therefore, bring more people to God.
0 out of 10 stars. A terrible film and a perversion of Christian theology. But the Swedenborg thing wasn’t even brought in until the last five minutes. Dumb.
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