Tag Archives: Courage

Things Heard & Seen: Netflix’s Twisty New Thriller Is Based on a Book - Read the Spoilers

By | April 16, 2021

As a bookworm, I take pride in the fact that I can usually say “Eh, the book was better.” However, after viewing the trailer for Netflix’s upcoming thriller, I’m not so sure that will be the case with Things Heard & Seen. The movie already looks like it’ll be more fast-paced than the book it’s inspired by, All Things Cease To Appear by Elizabeth Brundage. While the trailer amps up the suspense and mystery right away, the book takes a more lackadaisical approach in weaving the eerie tale. If you’re curious about Things Heard & Seen, coming to Netflix on April 29, here’s what to know about the book version.

The Clare Family

All Things Cease to Appear centers around an old farmhouse in Upstate New York with a gruesome past. George Clare claims his wife has been murdered and that he needs someone to call for help. Catherine Clare is discovered with an axe in her head in her bedroom; she had been home alone with her 3-year-old daughter, Franny, all day. Who murdered Catherine? Well, the book won’t tell you because it frustratingly bounces between several timelines. George is questioned by the police, before skipping town with Franny the next morning.

The Hale Family

The book jumps to when Cal and Ella Hale are living on their old family dairy farm. They have three sons: Eddy, Wade, and Cole. Life isn’t great, but they’re making the best of it. Like other farms in the area, they’ve fallen upon hard times. Cal takes out his frustrations on his family and turns to drinking and abusive behavior to cope. Ella knows her husband isn’t faithful, and frankly, she doesn’t seem to care much. She knows she is a good mom, and that her sons will grow up to be good men.

When life becomes too much, Cal dies by suicide and kills his wife by leaking gas into their bedroom. When the bodies are discovered, the brothers are swept away to live with their uncle in the nearby town. The boys can’t seem to give up on the house they love. They come by the house and offer to do chores around the farm. Catherine (yes, the one who is later murdered) finds it incredibly helpful, and the boys find comfort being back on the family farm. Cole becomes their babysitter, entertaining Franny while the older two boys do the harder physical labor. They spend a lot of time with Catherine and they make her feel useful and wanted.

Getting to Know Catherine

The story jumps once again to Catherine’s perspective. As a city girl, she finds it incredibly hard to settle on the 200 acres of farmland they purchased. She feels uneasy in the house but can’t figure out why. Eerie instances abound; chills go down her spine when she walks through certain areas, she finds someone else’s (Ella Hale’s) rings near the sink while doing dishes, and she sees another woman’s reflection in the window. The reader learns that George knows of the house’s tragic past, but Catherine does not.

Getting to Know George

George appears to be a pitiful, helpless widow, but through a series of flashbacks, you discover that isn’t quite the case. He gaslights Catherine at every turn. In fact, George and Catherine had actually broken up when she found out she was pregnant but they get married to “do the right thing.” He forges a letter and his qualifications in order to get his job at the college. He becomes involved with Willis, a 19-year-old from California. He sexually and verbally abuses Willis, at one point cutting all of her hair off, just to establish control over her. He is and unfaithful, manipulative sociopath.

The Chilling Conclusion

It’s a snowy day when Catherine works up the courage to leave George. She packs some suitcases and Franny in the car, then is unable to pull out of the driveway. Catherine goes back inside dejected and quickly loses steam with her entire plan. She admits to George that she was planning on leaving when he questions her about the suitcases. From there, we’re led to assume that George murders Catherine, drugs Franny with sleeping medicine, and goes to work the next day.

The story concludes with an epilogue years in the future. Franny is in med school as a surgical apprentice, hating life. She is sleeping with a married man, renting a small, sterile apartment, and doesn’t have much zest for life. She receives a call that her father’s real estate agent has sold the old farmhouse and needs Franny to come clear out their personal belongings. George is an old man at this point, going blind from diabetes and unable to help at all. When Franny steps back in the house she feels a chill and a sense of calm all at once; she feels like she’s home. She makes her rounds around the town and the book awkwardly ends with Cole and Franny making out.

Overall All Things Cease to Appear is slow burn. It’s got some great bones, just as George says in the trailer for Things Heard & Seen, but the story might actually make for a better film.

If Celebrities Can Call Today’s Insurrection at the Capitol What It Is, You Can Too

By | January 8, 2021

Image Source: Getty / Samuel Corum

As clips and photos of thousands of Trump supporters storming the US Capitol in a violent insurrection circulated online Wednesday afternoon, news outlets, political leaders, and Twitter users alike initially described the mob simply as “supporters” engaging in “protests.” But what took place at the nation’s Capitol was no protest. We must call this attack on American democracy what it is – racism, white nationalism, and white privilege on full display – and some celebrities and public figures have mustered the courage to do so.

“White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they’re committing insurrection.”

Simply referring to those who mobbed the Capitol as “protesters” fails to recognize the racism and white privilege in action. As political commentator Joy Reid said on MSNBC Wednesday, “White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they’re committing insurrection, even when they’re engaged in attempting to occupy our Capitol to steal the votes of people who look like me.” She continued, “Because in their minds, they own this country. They own that Capitol. They own the cops.” Even when participating in acts of domestic terrorism, which is defined by the FBI as “violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences,” it is the epitome of white privilege to be able to shamelessly smile for selfies and interact with the police.

Celebrities have also joined in on the conversation, demanding that both those in power and the public in general call out these perpetrators for the dangerous acts they’ve committed. They are not protesters; they are domestic terrorists who deliberately attempted an insurrection and should be treated as such. “We need to make sure that just because these individuals are majority white, that we’re not reframing this in something different,” Karamo Brown said in one impassioned video. Roxane Gay, Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, and more also criticized both law enforcement and the public’s response to the glaring racism of the situation and have called for others in positions of power to do the same. If celebrities can do it, surely others can too. See what more stars had to say about the Capitol attack ahead.

Cheer Star Jerry Harris Faces 7 New Charges in Child Pornography Case

By | December 12, 2020

Cheer star Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris, who was arrested in September on a federal child pornography charge, is now facing seven new counts, USA Today confirmed on Dec. 11. According to an indictment obtained by the outlet, the 21-year-old was charged with receiving and attempting to receive child pornography, using the internet in Orlando, FL, to “persuade, induce, and entice” a minor, and traveling from Texas to Florida “for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct” with a minor.

Prosecutors also charged Jerry with four counts of using, persuading, inducing, and enticing a minor “to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.” The acts allegedly occurred in Naperville, IL, and Corsicana, TX, between August 2017 and August 2020.

Attorneys Morgan Stewart and Sarah Klein, who represent two of the alleged victims, addressed the new charges in a statement, saying:

We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI have continued to investigate this case, locate additional victims and take action. This was made possible because our clients’ mother initially had the courage to report Harris to the FBI and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered. We urge the authorities to undertake a thorough investigation of the United States All-Star Federation, Varsity Spirit, and Cheer Athletics to determine which of their executives, employees, and representatives could have stopped Harris’ abuse and failed to do so.

Jerry was initially arrested in Naperville on Sept. 17 after allegations of child sexual exploitation and abuse were brought against him in a lawsuit by an attorney representing two alleged victims. “We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” a spokesperson for Jerry told CNN. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.” Jerry has remained behind bars since his arrest and is awaiting trial. If convicted, he faces 15 to 30 years in federal prison.