FILM REVIEW | Things Heard and Seen

Sometimes trailers are a really great way of getting viewers interested in watching a film.

They establish the tone, maybe throw in a few jokes if the film is a comedy, they highlight the on-screen talent and generally give you an idea of the story.

But, if a trailer doesn't accurately reflect the movie you're about to watch, some people get mad.

Unfortunately, the trailer for new Netflix film Things Heard and Seen doesn't really show what the movie is all about.

The trailer suggests the film is a horror, with jump scares and frights around every corner.

But, like Crimson Peak or What Lies Beneath before it, Things Heard and Seen is really a small, contained drama with some ghosty window dressing.

Picture perfect: Amanda Seyfried and James Norton star in drama mystery Things Heard and Seen, rated MA15+, streaming on Netflix now. Pictures: Netflix

Picture perfect: Amanda Seyfried and James Norton star in drama mystery Things Heard and Seen, rated MA15+, streaming on Netflix now. Pictures: Netflix

There might be a couple of moments of mild frights, but overall the film is about a relationship, and the forces, both internal and external, that slowly erode the perfect veneer of marriage.

Things Heard and Seen stars newly-minted Oscar nominee Amanda Seyfried (Mank) and James Norton (Little Women) as young, married couple Catherine and George Claire in 1980, who move from the hustle bustle of Manhattan to a small town in upstate New York.

They move, with their young daughter Franny, into an old house - and that's where things start to get a little iffy.

Catherine begins to experience some paranormal activity, from flickering lights to ghostly sounds, and finds items from previous owners which pose more questions than answers.

Meanwhile, George is slipping into life comfortably at the local university - but there might be more going on behind the scenes than he is letting on.

Things Heard and Seen is slow-burn and paranoid, but also highly relatable.

Catherine feels isolated in her new town, separated in her domestic life from her husband's thriving social scene.

Spirited: Oscar nominees Seyfried and F Murray Abraham try on a little bit of Spiritualism in Things Heard and Seen.

Spirited: Oscar nominees Seyfried and F Murray Abraham try on a little bit of Spiritualism in Things Heard and Seen.

George feels this desperation to live up to a persona he himself has created.

While Things Heard and Seen might not be everyone's cup of tea, it is an expertly-crafted character study and a beautifully shot drama.

Notable co-stars include F. Murray Abraham (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things), Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Rhea Seehorn (Better Cal Saul).

Things Heard and Seen is directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini based on the novel All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage.

It is streaming on Netflix now.

Rating: 7/10