“The Unheard” is the latest movie written by Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen and directed by Jeffrey A. Brown. The film puts the audience in the shoes of a young woman named Chloe, who decides to volunteer for an experimental procedure in hopes of curing her hearing disabilities. However, Chloe’s life spirals out of control when she relocates to Cape Cod, the place she grew up, and she is haunted by constant ringing and eerie voices. “The Unheard” features the likes of Lachlan Watson as Chloe, Michele Hicks as Chloe’s mother, Brendan Meyer as Joshua, Nick Sandow as Hank, Shunori Ramanathan as Dr. Lynch, and more.
The Experimental Procedure
Chloe Grace is a deaf woman who unfortunately lost her hearing at a very young age due to meningitis. Meningitis is a potentially fatal disease caused by inflammation of the nerves, that surround and safeguard the central nervous system and spinal cord. Most cases of this illness may be traced back to microbial, parasitic, or viral infection. In many cases, like that of Chloe Grace, the condition can lead to partial or complete deafness. The loss of her hearing has left Chloe dependent on speech-reading and transcription software. Chloe has met with countless doctors in the hope of curing her deafness but to no avail. Nevertheless, Chloe discovers an experimental technique while researching online and decides to give it a try. The procedure involves an experimental gene editing technique that copies prenatal cellular growth in the inner ear. The procedure is relatively simple: a stem cell-associated retrovirus is injected into the inner ear, and the virus will infect the surrounding tissue with the gene responsible for auditory cell growth, restoring both damaged nerves and hearing. The operation was successful; however, the doctors advised Chloe not to be too optimistic, as there is a strong possibility it might not work.
The False Positive
Chloe decided to cut herself off from the city and move into her family’s home in Cape Cod. Chloe’s father abandoned the house following her mother’s sudden disappearance and moved to the city, believing it would help him find peace and closure. A couple of weeks have passed, and Chloe is still struggling to adjust to her medications. Chloe is fairly optimistic and clings to the hope that the above mentioned experimental procedure can restore her hearing. The movie’s soundscape is mostly muted so that viewers may better empathise with Chloe’s plight. Chloe doesn’t have many friends, and her time oscillates only between her father and the good Samaritan he sends to fix her heater and car. Unfortunately, a malfunctioning heater is the least of Chloe’s problems, as after her hearing is restored, she begins to experience auditory hallucinations. At first, Chloe believes the hallucinations to be a side effect of the experimental procedure, but she is forced to believe that there is more than meets the eye. On the other hand, Cape Cod County is plagued by a string of abductions carried out by a sinister psychopath who leaves no trace behind. However, the effect worsens with each passing day as Chloe begins to hear her mother’s voice, who asks her to say “Happy Fourth of July.” Chloe’s mother vanished without a trace one day and was never heard from again. Chloe, who had been almost comatose because of a medical condition, awakens to discover that her entire world has changed.
Side-Effect Or Coincidence?
Chloe contacts Doctor Lynch and informs her that she’s suffering from excessive bleeding and constant ringing in her ears following the procedure, and the pain is getting worse with each passing day. However, Dr. Lynch is adamant that there’s nothing wrong with her ears and informs Chloe that auditory hallucinations are a common side effect in people who’ve regained hearing via cochlear implants. Dr.Lynch also informs Chloe that she hasn’t been totally honest with her and has hidden the fact that she’s on antidepressants, which can corrupt the study and test results. Chloe visits Joshua’s home, who reveals to her that he saw something months ago and has been watching her dad’s cottage since then to figure out what’s really there. The unexplainable things Joshua is referring to are magnetic fields, vibrations, frequency, and other things a normal man or woman can’t see or hear, but, surprisingly, Chloe can. Joshua believes it to be a spirit world, and Chloe’s decision to come back to Cape Cod wasn’t a coincidence. According to Joshua, Chloe’s mother led her back to the place where she grew up, possibly to tell her something. Chloe leaves Josh’s house after threatening to contact the authorities if he ever comes wandering around her cabin again.
‘The Unheard’ Ending Explained – What Were The Voices Warning Chloe About?
Back at home, Chloe is visited by Hank, who comes to check on her after she fails to pick up her dad’s phone. But in reality, Hank has been hiding his true intentions under the guise of the good Samaritan. Chloe also discovers photographs of her mother at Hank’s place, indicating that Hank had harboured romantic feelings for Chloe’s mother from the beginning. Like Chloe, Hank is also able to hear the strange and eerie voices that belonged to the women he has killed over the years. And now Hank wants to add Chloe to that list. Chloe tricks Hank out of the house, buying herself some time, and discovers that it was Hank who had murdered her mother and pretended to care for her all along. However, Hank drove back to the cabin and managed to subdue Chloe.
After hearing Chloe cries for help, Joshua rushes into the house to check if she is alright but is mortally wounded by Hank in the process. However, Hank is rendered incapacitated by the loud static and ringing before he can place his blade on Chloe. Chloe takes advantage of the situation and stabs Hank in the jugular, leaving him to drown in his own pool of blood. In the final seconds, Chloe cites “Happy Fourth of July” to put an end to the chaos. To put it bluntly, “Happy Fourth of July” served as a kind of escape code from the voices. In reality, Chloe’s cochlear implants had nothing to do with the voices, as they sound, and warnings also started to emerge when Chloe decided to relocate to Cape Cod, the place she grew up in and the place where her mother was murdered. The voices had no intention of harming Chloe, as they only wished to warn and protect her from the impending danger, i.e., Hank.
Hank was a serial killer who took sick delight in others’ plight. The violent and nasty ideas that plagued his head were beyond his grasp. Without compassion or guilt, he revelled in the anguish of his captives. Hank’s strategy for picking targets was well organised. He would follow them around, memorise their routines, and then surprise them with an attack. Then he put the corpses somewhere they’d never be discovered. Hank was in love with Chloe’s mother but opted to kill her and dispose of her body after she rejected his proposal.
I wish the filmmakers didn’t leave what happened to her doctor open ended.