Sunday, April 27

The Quiet Ones Review

The Quiet Ones
Dir: John Pogue
Starring: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Bryne, and Olivia Cooke

Hammer Films, known for such genre classics as “Horror of Dracula” and “The Curse of The Werewolf”, has been around since 1934 but has only recently started producing films again, most notably the remake “Let Me In” and “The Woman in Black” which most closely resembles the style reminiscent of Hammer horror.  John Pogue’s “The Quiet Ones” takes place in the 1970’s and utilizes the prominent “inspired by actual events” banner. While much of the film is a mingling of numerous horror properties with subtle terrors that are upended by exaggerated scares, Pogue is able to take a decent script and with the help of good actors keep the film engaging.

The story surrounds the study of Oxford professor Joseph Coupland’s (Jared Harris) treatment of a supernatural entity that inhabits a young woman named Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke). Coupland is trying to rationalize the behavior of Jane with science with the help of two students from his class and a cameraman named Brian (Sam Claflin) who is charged with the documentation of everything.  The university shuns Coupland’s studies and he is forced to move his experiment into a large estate in the countryside. The group forces Jane to extreme limits, Coupland even subjecting Jane to near torture for results. It isn’t long before the group is confronted with the malicious subject of their study.

Pogue infuses some well-executed techniques into the film. The experiments involved in the treatment of Jane keep the tension constant throughout while the idea that these scientists are trying to extract madness from Jane makes for interesting debates between the staunch professor and his growingly skeptical students. The photography, going along with the footage cameraman Brian is shooting in the film, utilizes a changing aspect ratio that increases anxiety within scenes. Also, the switch from distressed film quality to normal high definition allows for some clever trickery. It’s a nice touch that keeps a level of uneasiness within the film. Unfortunately audiences will catch on to the familiar narrative formula and the predictability of some of the major jolts, however there are a few chilling moments that are effective due to their subtlety, a slow opening door being one that is used primarily for atmosphere.

For a small cast, that is together for most scenes, the group is able to hold good chemistry throughout which is a major task for most horror films. Jared Harris is the standout as the obsessive professor/mad scientist, harking back to other consumed intellects in Hammer history. His character is composed fairly straightforward but Harris makes something interesting to watch.

“The Quiet Ones” is a familiar and predictable horror film, but it shouldn’t be disregarded. While it may not keep you awake at night like other scarier films it resembles, there is enough atmosphere and story to satiate those looking for a late night horror movie.

Monte’s Rating

3.00 out of 5.00

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