jeffrey a brown, lachlan watson, shudder, shudder australia, the rasmussen brothers, the unheard
Shudder once again attempt to open the horror portals and explore all terrains of the genre in their latest Exclusive and Original feature, The Unheard.
From the creative writing team behind Crawl, The Rasmussen brothers team up with Director Jeffrey A. Brown (The Beach House) to weave a tale centred on a young woman, Chloe (Lachlan Watson) who has a hearing impairment. Chloe undergoes a revolutionary new and experimental treatment that will hopefully restore her hearing and takes off to her family beach home to recover. While there, old memories rise to the surface along with links to her past and strange disappearance of her mother. Embedded in these evocations, Chloe is thrust into a confusing world tempered by these auditory hallucinations that she keeps experiencing. There is also the haunting feeling that she is not alone, constantly being watched at all hours. Are these temporal side effects to her rehabilitation? Or is there something far sinister going on?
Part of the picture’s appeal is the blurred lines that are created between fantasy and reality as Chloe’s convoluted world dilutes her perception. This chosen narrative combined with her isolation ramps up the tension and the fear from the audience where the dial is being turned up with a slow, gradual ascent. B.y its conclusion, Chloe may find the answers to her life’s troubles, but the resolution may not be what she had desired.
The pace and ambience that is built up to create the tense atmosphere may be served a little too laggard for some. Lachlan does create a hypnotic performance in her portrayal of Chloe with a fairly solid character. The stylised direction ebbs and flows throughout the narrative to deliver these moments of animosity through an investigation into her past. This is also emphasised by the parallel world that lies in an unheard or hidden state which seeps into Chloe’s world through the auditory soundscape, twisting the way the information in line with the lead protagonist.
All these elements are played out well and an interesting world is created as a result, but it treads a fine line between captivating and alienating in its execution.
- Saul Muerte
The Unheard is currently screening on Shudder from 31st March.