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Things Heard & Seen | 2021 | TV-MA | – 6.6.7

content-ratingsWhy is “Things Heard & Seen” rated TV-MA? The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board rating indicates that “this program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.” The evaluation includes a few implied sex scenes with partial nudity, a masturbation scene with partial nudity, discussions of sexual misconduct in the workplace, a murder with an axe, discussions of the death of people by asphyxiation, a car accident leading to a woman in a coma, scenes of abuse by a husband against his wife, many ghostly images and scenes with eerie music, many arguments, a woman suffering from bulimia, and over 20 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.

A woman (Amanda Seyfried) moves with her husband (James Norton) to a small town for his new college faculty position. However, after they move into an available farmhouse, she thinks it is haunted, and she also begins feeling her husband has taken a sinister turn and she worries about their young daughter’s safety. Also with Ana Sophia Heger, Charlotte Maier, Kristin Griffith, Karen Allen, Alex Neustaedter, Jack Gore and F. Murray Abraham. Directed by Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini. [Running Time: 2:01]

Things Heard & Seen SEX/NUDITY 6

 – A husband and his wife lie under covers in bed, kiss and joke about “de-stressing”; in the darkened room, he is shirtless and we see his bare shoulders and upper chest, and she wears a long gown that shows her bra and high-cut underwear through the fabric as well as cleavage and partial legs; we then see the couple nude under covers (nothing else is seen and sex is implied). A wife sees her husband as he masturbates in the shower (we see his bare back and buttocks) and hear him moan and grunt and see his arm moving rhythmically. A woman wearing a T-shirt and underwear lies on a bed and a man approaches her as the scene ends (sex is implied). A woman lies on a bed and a man sits on the floor, fully clothed. A woman embraces a young man, lies on top of him in the grass, and kisses him; she puts her hand down the front of his pants and the scene ends (sex is implied).
 A man walks into his dimly lit house where his wife questions the whereabouts of his clothing, and we briefly see him in full back nudity (bare back, buttocks and legs). A pre-teen boy briefly looks at a woman’s nipple outlined in her T-shirt. An old ring features a carved likeness of two robed figures facing each other with their pelvises touching. In a long shot, a young man removes his T-shirt and we see his bare back and one bare side.
 Men at a holiday dinner joke about a woman being a “closet lesbian” and a man being a “first class homo”; one of the men later tells his wife that her new female friend is the lesbian and orders her to stay away from the friend, which she refuses. A man says he was ostracized at work for reporting the sexual misconduct of his supervisor. A twenty-something man flirts with an older married woman, smiling and standing close to her. A preschool girl tells her mother that her father has a new friend, a twenty-something college woman.

Things Heard & Seen VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 – A man hears a voice telling him to kill a woman and the man cries, brings in a large axe, and chops into her chest (we see an open wound gush blood to cover her face, body, and the floor).
 A husband shouts at his wife and knocks her down a hill (she is roughed up but uninjured). A husband grabs his wife and slams her against a wall and onto the floor, she rushes to the bathroom and something unseen slams the door shut and locks it. A husband pushes his wife several times, shouts, pulls the telephone out of the wall, slams it to the ground, stomps it to pieces, and then drags her down some stairs. A man forces his wife to drink a drugged protein shake and she staggers upstairs to bed and collapses.
 A man becomes angry with a woman and chases her in his car, driving her car off a road and down a hillside; we see the woman comatose in a hospital bed with a large neck brace on and we hear machines beeping and we later hear a disembodied voice tell her to wake up and she does. A sheriff finds a woman’s body and an axe; the sheriff questions a young man about the situation and he shouts that he is sure the husband killed the woman, even though he did not see the crime. A man drives fast and erratically after smoking marijuana (please see the Substance Use category for more details), and his wife in the passenger seat screams; he slams on the brakes and laughs in her face and she angrily slaps his arms and exits the vehicle.
 A woman pulls a long slimy tail out of a garbage disposal and we see it is attached to a tiny brown fetus that breathes (it is in a nightmare); the woman gasps and the camera cuts to her sitting up quickly in bed. A woman is bulimic and we see her in two scenes vomiting into a toilet, and coughing a little yellow-brown material into the bowl as she retches loudly; her husband berates her the second time and she shouts that she is vomiting up her marriage. A man pulls into his garage and finds black gunk, possibly gore, dripping from the ceiling. A woman notices a growing smell of car exhaust in the house and we hear that in the past, a man sedated his wife and two children, turned on two trucks in the garage and went to bed so that the whole family would die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
 A husband and his wife argue, shout, and curse several times, and the man argues with a younger woman a few times. A man and several women hold a séance with lighted candles and a hand drawn portrait of a woman; the people rub the tabletop and candles go out, the portrait is thrown forward and grabs the table runner, forming flapping wings in the air as a disembodied female voice and a disembodied male voice argue. A woman becomes distraught and paranormal events begin to occur accompanied by eerie music throughout the film. A ghostly light appears briefly a few times around the house and we hear echoes of piano music and indistinct sounds off-screen, along with the screeching and creaking wood and metal.
 Several scenes include table lamps coming on by themselves and buzzing in an old house, including a large clown nightlight; the buzzing and popping lights cause a four-year-old girl to run and scream loudly several times. Several lights come on by themselves and a radio begins to play; it keeps playing when a man unplugs it and he slams it to the floor with a loud crash as it falls to pieces. An electric toothbrush comes on by itself and falls at a gaping woman’s feet. A woman sees a vulture outside a window and in another scene, her husband calls on an evil spirit and the bird crashes through a bedroom window spreading glass shards on the floor (the bird is uninjured and hops out). Two men discuss an art history book called “Heaven and Hell” and the front cover features a glowing cross in a misty cloud, and a professor tells a younger instructor it represents the transition to Heaven. A man finds his classroom slide projector stuck on an image of a glowing cross and he shouts, curses, and storms out of the lecture hall. A man takes a sailboat into a bay, a storm comes up with loud thunder and lightning flashes, and the scene freezes as an upside down cross glows in a dark sky above him (implying that he is going to hell).
 A man rushes into a house and finds a preschool girl standing on the couch, looking dazed; he picks her up and runs outside and across a field. A preschool girl watches a man chop wood as she chants, “Chop… chop… chop.”
 A husband and his wife and their four-year-old daughter move to a remote farmhouse and the wife resents the move. We hear that a young man died in his boat in a large body of water and later, a woman says that the man’s cousin likely killed him and stole his artwork, forging his own signature. A man learns that a new employee forged a recommendation letter and fires him after the employee lies and said he could not receive a recommendation letter because he had reported his previous supervisor for sexual misconduct; the next day the older man and the fired employee take a sailboat ride and we hear an announcer on a radio say the older man was found dead in the water. A man says that a good spirit and an evil spirit live in a house. A pre-teen boy arrives to babysit a pre-school girl and finds a note telling him to stay downstairs.
 A preschool girl screams after imagining a ghostly figure that we see, and her mother sees a transparent woman wearing a long dress; the ghost says, “I will give my life again” and the mother learns that several generations of women in a Calvinist family were abused and said to be damned because of their independent attitudes. A few scenes include female voices off-screen encouraging a mother to stand up for herself against her abusive husband. A scene features off-screen voices of generations of women saying that they are joined for justice.
 A close-up of a man shows him savagely using a large carving knife on a chunk of meat and hitting a counter with it several times. A woman drops a carving knife and we see it stick into the floor point-first.

Things Heard & Seen LANGUAGE 7

 – About 24 F-words and its derivatives, 3 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 16 mild obscenities, name-calling (rednecks, crying drunk, psycho, psychopaths, paranoid, con-men, horsey, head case, crazy, presumptuous, ghost stuff, New York cynic, Headless Horseman), exclamations (wow, whoo), 3 religious profanities (GD), 35 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, God, Jesus Christ, Jesus, Good God, I Swear To God). | profanity glossary |

Things Heard & Seen SUBSTANCE USE

 – Parents argue about the father’s desire to drug their young daughter with sedatives to make her sleep at night and leave him alone and he takes a prescription to the druggist for the sedatives and mentions the girl’s night terrors as the pharmacist looks doubtful (we never see the drugs), a young man and a young woman smoke marijuana cigarettes in a pickup truck, two men smoke marijuana cigarettes in a yard as one of the men says he grows the marijuana, and a man and a woman share a marijuana cigarette at a party and the man becomes aggressive and grabs her wrists as she shouts and she leaves as he giggles. Several scenes show men and women drinking wine at parties as well as in a kitchen and at two dinners, a pre-teen boy walks around a party with two bottles of wine in his hands and he pours drinks for adults (he is not shown drinking). A man and a woman take a puff each from a cigarette.


 – Overly controlling religions, talking to the dead, séances, secrets, lies, fraud, mistrust, animosity, infidelity, fear, stress, isolation, imagination, mental illness, eating disorders, violence, drug use, paranormal events, protecting children, revenge, justice, small towns, farm bankruptcies.

Things Heard & Seen MESSAGE

 – Abusers often isolate their victims and escalate abuse into mayhem and murder that become intergenerational.


Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.

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