‘Issues Heard & Seen’ assessment: On Netflix, overwrought horror, overqualified solid


The tagline for the 1979 stupid-scary film “The Amityville Horror” was, “FOR GOD’S SAKE, GET OUT!” which might be the slogan for nearly each horror movie through which a household strikes into a big and often distant property that has a mysterious and haunted historical past, and but proceed to remain within the residence lengthy after anybody with a mind would notice they need to reduce their losses and run for his or her lives.

“The Amityville Horror” was on cable the opposite evening and it’s as campy and dangerous and overwrought as I remembered — and that brings us to the Netflix authentic movie “Issues Heard & Seen,” which can also be campy and dangerous and overwrought, although there’s an undeniably entertaining aspect that veers near the comedic as we watch an amazingly gifted solid of acquainted names someway holding straight faces whereas slogging by means of the cartoonishly dangerous materials.

That is the form of film the place somebody kills a beloved one of their mattress with an ax and all indicators level to just one suspect, however the native authorities are severely contemplating a idea it was a theft gone dangerous. An ax theft gone dangerous.

What a solid we’ve on this period-piece story, set in 1980. We’ll begin with current Oscar nominee Amanda Seyfried and Brit heartthrob James Norton as Catherine and George, respectively, the couple who transfer into the compulsory farmhouse within the nation the place dangerous issues have transpired previously. And isn’t that Karen Allen from “Animal Home” and “Indiana Jones” because the agent who sells them the home? Oh and hey, it’s Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham because the division head on the small, non-public faculty the place George has been employed as an Artwork Historical past professor! And there’s Rhea Seehorn from “Higher Name Saul” as a brand new pal for Catherine, who breeds alpacas along with her husband (what!) and immediately distrusts George and with good purpose, and Natalia Dyer from “Stranger Issues” as a horse coach at “Crow Hill Stables” who says to George, “You’re a presumptuous f—–, aren’t you?” earlier than she invitations him into her mattress as we hear the suggestive whinnying of one in all her horsies. There’s so a lot drama on this little out-of-the-way village!

Oh, and by the way in which, that new house is severely haunted by at the least one ghost, so it’s factor Professor Murray F. Abraham and fairly a number of different locals are agency believers within the supernatural and are thrilled to conduct a séance so Catherine could make contact with the spirits who’re terrorizing her daughter, who has an enormous clown nightlight in her bed room and a extremely creepy horror-movie doll as a companion, oh boy.

Primarily based on the novel “All Issues Stop to Seem” by Elizabeth Brundage and written and directed by the gifted duo of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (“American Splendor,” “Lady Most Possible”), “Issues Heard & Seen” has the requisite horror-movie look (deep shades of brown and orange, low digital camera angles, repeated glimpses of successfully creepy work and haunting images, non secular symbolism all over the place) and Norton specifically is a hoot as simply the worst individual on the earth — however nonetheless, “Issues Heard & Seen” needs to be neither of these issues.

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