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Is Things Heard & Seen based on a book?

Is Things Heard & Seen based on a book? image

If you set the reminder to be notified when the upcoming Netflix supernatural haunted house thriller Things Heard & Seen becomes available, you may have noticed the scary movie is based on a book.

Maybe you simply noted it. Maybe you thought it sounded familiar because you’d read a book with a similar plot. Or maybe you even went to look up the book but discovered it doesn’t share the same title as the movie.

It’s possible you didn’t do any of those things but now you’re wondering what book Things Heard & Seen is based on. Let’s take a look!

What book is Things Heard & Seen based on?

Things Heard & Seen is based on a 2017 novel by Elizabeth Brundage called All Things Cease to Appear.

Here’s the synopsis from Amazon, filled with a few spoilers:

Recent transplants to the small town of Chosen, New York, the Clares have not received the warmest welcome; once a thriving dairy farm, their home is haunted by the tragedy that left the former owner’s three sons orphaned and adrift.

Late one winter afternoon, professor George Clare knocks on his neighbor’s door with terrible news: he returned from work to find his wife, Catherine, murdered in their bed. Someone took an ax to her head while their three-year-old daughter, Franny, played alone in her room across the hall.

As one dark secret peels away to reveal others—and as the Clare marriage reveals itself to have a sinister darkness that rivals the farm’s history—Elizabeth Brundage offers a rich and complex portrait of the scars that can haunt a community for generations and the dark longings inside each and every one of us that drive us to do inexplicable things.

The book received glowing editorial reviews, including from the following impressive people and places:

  • “Ghosts, murder, a terrifying psychotic who seems normal, and beautiful writing.  Loved it.” – Stephen King
  • “This literary thriller’s complex narrative involves a cursed house, an unsolved murder and impeccable writing.” – The New York Times
  • “A classic murder mystery [combined] with a gripping psychological thriller, exploring the complexities of grief, relationships—romantic, familial and friendly—and small-town life.” – BookPage

Things Heard & Seen movie vs. book

How closely will the movie adaptation mirror the book it’s based on?

Well, we won’t know for sure until we can stream it, starting April 29, 2021.

However, the movie does seem to incorporate several aspects of the book’s plot, including the basic premise that Catherine Clare and her husband George Clare move to the tiny hamlet of Chosen, New York when George takes a job teaching in small Hudson Valley college.

This proves a great opportunity for George, but Catherine didn’t really want to move. She feels isolated and alone in Chosen. Plus, with nothing but time on her hands, Catherine gets to know her new house intimately as she tries to make it a home. This might not only prove a bad idea but also a fatal one when she discovers both the house and her husband harbor deadly secrets.

Be sure to check out Things Heard & Seen when it premieres on Netflix Thursday, April 29.

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