Content warning: This post contains spoilers for Netflix's new movie, Things Heard and Seen. If you haven't watched it yet, maybe watch it and meet us back here?
Netflix's new movie, Things Heard and Seen, could best be described as a haunting horror, a murder mystery, and a slow-burning tale about the disintegration of a marriage and the impact of domestic violence on the family unit.
It stars Amanda Seyfried and James Norton, as Catherine and George, a New York City couple who move into an Upstate New York house in the 1980s, when George lands a job at the local college.
As soon as the couple moves in, Catherine and their daughter Franny begin to hear and see things around the home.
Watch the trailer for Netflix's Things Heard & Seen. Post continues below.
Catherine soon learns the truth about the house and its past owners, before the house's true horror impacts her own marriage and life.
So is Things Heard and Seen based on a true story? Kind of.
Here we break down the source material and real-life events behind the Netflix hit:
What inspired Netflix's Things Heard and Seen?
The Netflix movie was directly inspired by Elizabeth Brundage's 2016 novel, All Things Cease to Appear.
Both the book and the film are based on the same premise, but there are key differences in the structure and plot.
In the book, from the opening scene it's clear that Catherine is dead. George arrives on the neighbour's doorstep with Franny and he immediately becomes the prime suspect in Catherine's murder.
In the movie, we see blood dripping from the ceiling and George grabbing Franny and running across the field. It's implied that something nefarious has happened but we don't find out what until the end of the film.
In the novel, Brundage uses flashbacks to demonstrate the issues in Catherine and George's marriage and what had happened at the house before they moved in.
The novel also goes into more detail about the impact Catherine's death has on Franny's life. The final section of the novel is set in 2004. Franny is a surgical student, and she receives a phone call asking her to return home as the family estate has finally been sold.
The film, on the other hand, ends with George's implied death.
So what inspired Brundage to write the book?
The book was actually inspired by the author's own life.
In the late 1990s, Brundage, her husband and their six- and three-year-old daughters moved to Malden Bridge in Upstate New York.