FILM COLUMN – The Unheard

The Unheard.

A NEW Shudder Original, The Unheard, tells the story of a young woman who undergoes an experimental procedure to restore her hearing.

In Jeffrey A Brown’s creepy psychological thriller, 20-year-old Chloe Grayden (Lachlan Watson) begins to suffer from auditory hallucinations relating to her missing mother, soon after her treatment.

Chloe returns to her family’s Cape Cod home for the first time since her mother’s disappearance to recuperate and to get things in order for the sale of the property, when she starts to hear confounding, ghostly voices.

Whether a side effect of her treatment or a sign she is losing grip on reality after returning to a home filled with such powerful memories, it is unclear. But the young woman begins to dig deeper and question the disappearances of numerous women along the Massachusetts peninsula, including her own mother, who was believed to have walked out on her family eight year ago.

Part ghost story and serial killer thriller, The Unheard works best when it uses noisy paranormal sounds to create a deep sense of unease in a frequency all its own. There are dark and disconcerting moments where the director’s use of distorted tones and jarring shadows create a real sense of dread.

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Unfortunately, it doesn’t last.

The film’s second act loses most of its Ringu-like minimalist intensity when it instead focuses on the more straightforward slasher element to the tale.

It is at this point where the whole encapsulating wall of sound comes tumbling down and builds up to nothing more than a hugely disappointing finale.

I had the likely serial killer picked out in the first ten minutes so the element of mystery and intrigue really leaves a lot to be desired.

And sadly, after being caught under a spell of the film’s supernatural din, we end up being left with nothing more than static.