After undergoing surgery to restore her hearing after 12 years of silence, student Chloé (chuckyIt is lachlan watson) goes to the family cottage on Cape Cod to recover. It’s lonely, but like the unheard of explores, she discovers that she is not alone, seemingly in both natural and supernatural ways.
Deafness is a surprisingly common theme in horror, used to make a character more vulnerable and/or empowered in unexpected situations. manners (see: Mike FlanaganIt is silence, THE A silent place series). the unheard of leverages that, but also pulls elements from movies like The eyein which a formerly blind woman begins to experience ghostly phenomena after a corneal transplant brings her back his view. In Chloe’s case, the experimental treatment quickly proves effective, an apparent medical miracle that comes with disturbing side effects, including the fact that her hearing now appears to be enhanced by ESP.
This intriguing premise is layered with a story that puts Chloe at the center of an ongoing mystery. The year she fell ill and lost her hearing, her mother disappeared without a trace, a pair of tragic events that inspired her father to relocate himself and his daughter to multiple states. When Chloe returns to Cape Cod, both to recover from her surgery and to begin the process of selling the long-neglected home, she finds a lot of psychic pain awaiting her, fueled by melancholy memories – the voice of her mother is the last she can remember hearing and a stack of dusty video tapes containing home movies from happier times.
the unheard ofThe setting shares some DNA with director Jeffrey A. Brown’s previous film The beach house—both are set in isolated seaside communities that are seemingly peaceful, but have a sense of foreboding. the unheard of makes good use of the baked weird quality of a holiday town in off-season modewhere something as harmless as a light on in the supposedly empty house next door can cause instant paranoia.
As we learn, Chloe isn’t as mentally stable as she claims to be; Still grieving the loss of her mother, she takes antidepressants, a fact she fails to disclose to the doctor who runs the hearing project. When she begins to spiral, fixating on these VHS tapes, which seem to communicate with her somehow; drill holes in the floor to determine where the disembodied static sounds come from that she cannot escape; and even snooping around the house next door – his behavior seems reasonable for a young person struggling with a lot of emotional weight, even with the joyful but confusing feeling of being able to hear again. You wish she’d accepted the doctor’s offer of therapy as part of her treatment, and you also wish her circle of acquaintances on Cape Cod expanded beyond two men, both of whom could take chapters whole in The gift of fear. it doesn’t help that the unheard of works in a prominent subplot that lets us know that in the years since Chloe’s mother disappeared, the community has had an ongoing problem of missing young women.
These last points are ultimately where the unheard of—who with two the hours seem too long, with perhaps too many flickering, repetitive VHS footage scenes – loses its bearings. Chloe’s restored but unreliable hearing, and how it relates to her ability to perceive what appear to be voices from beyond, are interesting threads for a horror movie, even if you have a good idea from the start that the uncertain fate of his mother will prove important. Unfortunately, the cast is so small that it’s not hard to figure out exactly who the villain is. And like the unheard of pivots to a predictable cat-and-mouse scenario, even a last-minute twist can’t make up for the feeling that you knew where it was headed path too early.
the unheard of is written by Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen, who also co-wrote the extremely tense alligator horror film Crawl. With Watson, it stars Michele Hicks (Mr. Robot, Orange is the New Black)Shunori Ramanathan (Research group)Nick Sandow (Orange is the new black)and Brendan Meyer (The OA). It begins streaming the Shudder on March 31.
Want more io9 news? Find out when to wait for the last wonder, star warsAnd star trek versions, what’s next for the DC Universe in Film and TVand everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.