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Gaslight – manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
It seems I’ve stumbled onto a theme with the past two movies I’ve sat down to watch on Netflix. Both of these movies were listed in the #1 position on Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S. list, so I figured I’d give it a whorl. The first one I watched a few weeks ago was Things Heard & Seen starring Amanda Seyfried. I had been having some sleeping issues so decided to start the movie late one night. I mean, watching a horror film in the middle of the night alone isn’t a recipe for disaster, right? Did I mention I hate horror movies? Oops. At least I did the smart thing and recruited my daughter to watch with me with the expectation we could turn it off in case it was too scary.
Welp, I am here to report that we didn’t come across a problem. In fact, the movie had an interesting twist that I found promising, but everything kinda fell apart in the end, and I was more angry than anything else.
Today, in broad daylight, I decided to try again. As of right now, the #1 slot on Netflix goes to The Woman in the Window staring Amy Adams.
Now, I’m not sure what to say about these two movies. It is possible that The Woman in the Window is a better movie as I wasn’t completely irritated by the end, or maybe it was Things Heard & Seen because I had higher hopes for what could happen verses what we got. I guess I was just more invested in Things Heard & Seen.
I don’t really care to do a full breakdown of either movie, so I’ll just hit on the highlights. As far as tense situations and well delivered performances, I would say both of the movies hit the mark. In my opinion, the absolute highlight of Things Heard & Seen is the slow breakdown of the marriage, and how accurately James Norton played a gaslighting, narcissistic husband. I think this movie actually handles this really well and would recommend it to someone who isn’t sure exactly what gaslighting is or how easy it is for narcissists to manipulate the people that trust them. Unfortunately, I do not think the supernatural aspects of the film were handled well toward the end, and that sends this movie into limbo on the recommendation scale.
As for The Woman in the Window, this has some very strong Rear Window vibes, which were intentional. There’s plenty of gaslighting to go around in this movie, however it’s got a bit of a spin on it. Since the movie is seen through the POV of Anna Fox (Amy Adams), who is trapped in her house by agoraphobia, it leaves the viewer just as confused and unsure of the events unfolding as Anna is herself. This is aided by Anna’s drinking, medication, and self-indulgent delusions, so her ‘truth’ is very unreliable. I also really appreciated how the camera work lent to the confusion.
Final verdict is that both of these movies have their merits, and I did not consider my time invested in them a waste. However, they are not high priority movies. If you’ve run out of things to watch on your ‘tense and unsettling’ lists, either of these flicks should suffice. I guess I will give the Top 10 list a shot again next week and see where it takes me.
Now on to the updates!
I have finished the final edits of Frequency and have started the formatting process. Now that edits are done, let me tell you how a feel about formatting…
I absolutely love formatting. Both eBook and print, I love them both. Now that I’m getting more experienced with the programs I’m using, I feel more confident with what I’ve been able to turn out. I am especially impressed with the quality of the new print books, and I am satisfied that I have put my best into them. I think the re-release of The Phoenix Curse is going to look tons better than the original covers.
Speaking of TPC, I’ll soon be able to give Ali and Joss my full attention. Until then, expect to have the final book of The Walk available real soon, if not by the end of this month, then the beginning of June! Woo!
Happy Reading, everyone!