The 'Things Heard & Seen' Ending Invites Fan Theories (SPOILERS)
Warning: SPOILERS are ahead for Things Heard & Seen.
While many horror films tend to center around a young family after they purchase a beautiful home with a haunted past in a new town, Things Heard & Seen adds something new to the formula.
The Netflix original takes place in the '80s, and it begins after George (James Norton) and Catherine Claire (Amanda Seyfried) move with their three-year-old daughter from Manhattan to the Hudson Valley for George's job as a professor.
Unsurprisingly, strange things begin to happen in their historic home, which leads Catherine to believe that something sinister happened there years ago.
George doesn't share the same unsettled feeling as his wife, and he begins to question both her and their marriage (as he also engages in an affair).
Based on the novel All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage, Things Heard & Seen will keep viewers guessing until the very last minute. Keep reading for the full explanation of the ending.
The 'Things Heard & Seen' ending, explained — what happens to Catherine and George?
Though Catherine and George seem to have a supportive and happy marriage at the beginning of Things Heard & Seen, things begin to unravel for the pair when they move to the Hudson Valley.
George gaslights his wife when she smells car fumes in the home, and when she expresses fear after finding a mysterious ring in the kitchen.
When Catherine and her daughter begin to see visions of a mysterious woman, George blames it on his wife's past eating disorder and her alcohol intake.
As the film progresses, viewers learn that George has been cheating on Catherine with Willis (Natalia Dyer), and that he knew that the house had a haunted past.
He failed to tell Catherine that the previous owner, Calvin Vayle, attempted to kill his wife, Ella, and his two sons with car fumes in the garage. She instead finds this out at a house party. She also learns that the two boys who are painting her house are Calvin's sons, who survived the murder attempt.
Catherine eventually discovers that another prior owner died mysteriously in the 1800s as well, and that her home is a portal between her current world and the afterlife. Though she comes to believe that her house has something sinister in store for her, Catherine's biggest enemy of all is actually George.
In addition to being unfaithful and to being a gaslighting expert, George is also a liar and a killer.
When he's confronted about his job, George murders his co-worker, Floyd (F. Murray Abraham). He puts Catherine's friend, Justine (Rhea Seehorn), in a coma when she asks him about his relationship with Willis.
He stages their demises to look like accidents. Catherine later links her husband to his cousin's death years earlier, and she realizes that George stole his family member's identity.
She decides to leave George, and she gets their daughter ready to depart from the home.
George then returns home and he discovers the plan. After he forcibly removes Catherine from the house, she starts to feel ill. She determines that George must have poisoned her protein shakes.
Catherine crawls back into the house to get her daughter, but she passes out in a bedroom. George then attacks her with an ax, and she dies. He then heads to work the next morning to give himself an alibi, and he leaves a note for the babysitter to leave Catherine alone while she sleeps.
After he's done with work, George returns home and he pretends as if he's discovered Catherine's body for the first time. He calls the police, and his work alibi checks out. The authorities surmise that Catherine died in a robbery gone wrong.
While George is assuming that he's gotten away with murder (again), Justine ends up waking up from her coma.
When George finds out, he panics and he takes a boat out right as an intense storm begins on the water. A fire breaks out, and George's boat sails right into it.
The scene is then depicted as a piece of artwork, and it's implied that George has gone to hell. Things Heard & Seen ends with the image of the home's original owner wearing the ring that Catherine found.
Catherine and Ella's voices can be heard discussing how they are forever joined together because of the ring.
Does George die in 'Things Heard & Seen?'
The film concludes with George and his boat on fire. It is implied that he does not survive the storm, though some viewers have interpreted the final scene as a metaphor instead of as a real event.
Though the fire itself may not be literal, the extreme nature of the storm is enough to end George's life for good.
But, because there are supernatural moments throughout the film, it is plausible that George really did sail into hellfire as a result of his past transgressions.
Viewers can draw their own conclusions about what the final few minutes mean, and if Catherine's death really is avenged.
Things Heard & Seen is available to stream on Netflix now.