Things Heard & Seen (2021) Review


Things Heard & Seen, based on the best-selling novel by Elizabeth Brundage, is a 2021 film released on Netflix. According to the summary on IMDB: “An artist relocates to the Hudson Valley and begins to suspect that her marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals her new home’s history.” It seemed like the basis for a classic scary movie.

The film starts like most in this genre do: a seemingly happy couple moves to a small town into a house that just needs some TLC. Neighbors watch the new owners from a distance. It’s a good setup that sort of keeps the charade of a haunting ghost story for a little while. Somewhere along the line though, it stops being about the ghosts and becomes something more akin to a bad drama about greed, desire, and philandering.

While one could have attributed these behaviors to the ghostly inhabitants of the house, the film isn’t clear about it at all. There are still supernatural moments, but less of the scary variety and more of a cool roommates kind of way. 

After the first half of the film, the fear of the supernatural is gone and replaced with the disdain for a character you suspected from the beginning. The script falters and loses sight of what worked in the first half to leave you feeling cheated in the second. The cliches, predictable actions of characters, and an ending that made no logical sense… all combine to make this film fall flat and leave you wanting your time back. 

In this case, we will say we watched it so you don’t have to. 

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Stowaway (2021) Review

Stowaway (2021) Netflix


Stowaway (2021) was released by Netflix on April 22, 2021. The film stars an extremely talented cast with Anna Kendrick (Zoe Levenson), Daniel Dae Kim (David Kim), Shamier Anderson (Michael Adams), and Toni Collette (Marina Barnett). The director, Joe Penna, co-wrote this project with Ryan Morrison.

Now that we’ve got the important details out of the way, let’s get right into the Stowaway review – warning mild spoilers ahead.

The film jumps right into the action of liftoff and right off the bat, we’re expected to believe that the face shields being up is normal. Sheila wasted no time in pointing this out and giving me examples of why this wouldn’t be the case – like sudden depressurization for one. We’re then shown the beauty of space and Earth… after a poor CGI necklace slipping out of Zoe’s neck. We’re not even 30 minutes in and the film has already knocked us out of it with simple missteps.

Sadly, these continue throughout the film. While the actors bring in performances that shine – Anderson standing out among them – there is only so much they can do with a thin script. The premise of a stowaway is already a flawed one. The added weight should delay the flight as it risks losing the ship, its crew and mission. While the writers expect us to believe a greedy company would not delay things and put money over people, in this case it would be more detrimental to the organization. Should they lose them en route, their actions would be scrutinized and investigated on a global scale. It just doesn’t feel like a logical leap in this situation.

Add that to other little things: not being clipped onto climbing wires while out in space, one item that brings down the entire ship does not have a redundancy system, no one worries about food or fresh water while the entire story goes on. Even if they did manage to survive the oxygen concerns, how long would food and water last? The entire mission is a bust, but yet they still continue forward? Why can’t they turn around? We’ll never really know.

Overall, this is not a horrible film. It’s okay, but the potential was there for a much better project. After the trailer, I wanted more. Much like Prometheus, this was a letdown – despite the names behind it.

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