Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 2h 5m
Director(s): Jeffrey A. Brown
Writer(s): Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen
Cast: Lachlan Watson, Michele Hicks, Shunori Ramanathan, Brendan Meyer, Nick Sandow
Where To Watch: Streaming on Shudder on March 31, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: THE UNHEARD invites you to embark on a journey of a young woman* who regains her hearing through an innovative medical procedure. Inspired by the director's personal experiences with deaf relatives, this film offers a unique take on sound and sensory perception. With its dynamic performances and striking visuals, THE UNHEARD is an experience that horror fans shouldn’t miss.
The movie grabs the audience's attention by interweaving elements of psychological horror, the supernatural, and a dash of science fiction. The narrative propels us into the story as Chloe, played by Lachlan Watson, experiences auditory hallucinations connected to their mother's mysterious vanishing. The excellent sound mixing adds to the emotional rollercoaster, which submerges viewers into Watson’s newly discovered aural universe.
Central to THE UNHEARD is a stellar performance by the lead actor, who skillfully conveys a spectrum of emotions using only facial expressions. Their mesmerizing ability to communicate fear, loneliness, and intrigue through eyes alone lends the film an emotionally powerful foundation.
If you’re not a fan of slow-burn movies, this definitely won’t be for you. While THE UNHEARD has imperfections, such as a lengthy runtime that may deter some and a few underdeveloped plot threads, these minor drawbacks do not overshadow the film's overall impact. Throughout the film, we explore societal attitudes and prejudices surrounding disability.
In addition to its strong visual appeal, the film delves into themes of self-discovery and personal identity. As the protagonist grapples with their new sense of hearing, viewers are encouraged to reflect on the complexities of human experience and the role of societal norms in shaping our understanding of ourselves and others.
In a cinematic landscape often dominated by familiar formulas and themes, THE UNHEARD stands out as a bold and imaginative work. It successfully pushes traditional film narratives' boundaries, exploring the intersections between the supernatural and the world around us. This potent mix of elements ensures that the movie not only entertains but also educates and broadens the horizons of its audience, inspiring them to ponder their understanding of the world and the experiences of those around them.
In conclusion, THE UNHEARD offers a visually impressive exploration of sensory perception, the deaf community, and the nature of the human experience. The film transcends the ordinary and leaves viewers with a lasting impression.
* – “I feel I should note here that, while Watson is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, the character of Chloe is identified within the context of the film as a cis female. For this review, pronouns will vary depending on whether I’m referring to the character or the actor’s performance.” (I borrowed this from www.bostonhassle.com, I couldn’t have said it better myself.)
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[photo courtesy of SHUDDER]