The Quiet Ones (2014)

Horror
Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne
A university professor and a team of students conduct an experiment on a young woman, uncovering terrifyingly dark, unexpected forces in the process.
While it definitely sports a few palpable scares, The Quiet Ones finds Hammer Films trading too heavily on past glories.
  • Lionsgate/Summit Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 25 Apr 2014 Released:
  • 19 Aug 2014 DVD Release:
  • $8.5M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Fresh, interesting British Horror8/10
The Quiet Ones is a new British horror movie from the makers of The Woman in Black. Produced by the classic crafters of horror, Hammer Productions, the film follows an Oxford professor (Jared Harris), his tutees and a student cameraman (Sam Claflin) as they attempt to both prove and document the theory that supernatural powers are simply a manifestation of psychological trauma. They begin studying a young girl who believes she is possessed by an evil entity, and a strange relationship begins to develop between her and cameraman Brian as the professor's attempts to create a poltergeist take their toll.

In an era where endless Paranormal Activity sequels, squeezing every buck out of the found-footage genre and reliance purely on cattle-prod jump scares, it's refreshing to see a horror film that seems to have been made by people who understand how suspense works. In the same way that Woman in Black tricked you into thinking that it's going to be a run-of-the-mill horror flick set in a creaky old house but did something interesting, The Quiet Ones uses the 'house in the middle of nowhere' setting in a way that doesn't just turn the lights off and throw furniture around when things go wrong.

While rare (but noticeable), there are still uses of very loud noises out of absolutely nowhere to accentuate the scares, but asides from that, they are achieved through realistic and unobtrusive special effects, a sparing but effective use of a rumbling, mechanical musical score (there is something to be said for music that can make a scene of occult research feel intense) and an unflinching refusal by the camera to shy away from the horror. The camera-work is an interesting mix of live-action and old celluloid stock filmed from the perspective of the cameraman as he observes the increasing number of bizarre and terrifying events unfolding before the investigators.

As far as performances go, Jared Harris is well cast as the physics professor slowly declining into madness in a knowing manner very reminiscent of classic Hammer-horror and Sam Claflin builds a lot on his brief performance in Catching Fire, creating a very believable character struggling with his own beliefs as the absolute horror of the experiment becomes increasingly harder to deal with. Olivia Cooke is also very good as Jane, the tortured subject of the experiment, taking a very over-used character (the silent, unblinking possessed girl) and doing something interesting with it, alternating between an almost comatose recluse and a young woman dealing with adolescence and emerging emotions.

The running time of just less than 100 minutes means that some of the character development feels a little rushed, but it means that the film has adequate time to set up scares, deliver on the suspense, and create an intriguing story without feeling repetitive. Taking unexpected turns, featuring good performances and inciting real fear in the audience, The Quiet Ones is a very welcome breath of fresh air in mainstream horror movies, proving once again that constant scenes of exorcisms and annoying families with camcorders have become tired old tropes and that the best thing to do is wipe that all away and focus on believable characters and more interesting methods to create a genuinely tense atmosphere.
Shallow and plodding2/10
The film is slow, plodding and lacks any depth. The scares don't scare. It lacks suspense or creepiness. Character development falls flat on it's face; you just don't become endeared to any of the characters, at all. Rory Fleck-Byrne and Erin Richards seem completely redundant in the film. Jared Harris performed well, but even he couldn't save this one. I think the whole possession thing has been done to death, and to pull it off nowadays takes strong characters, a solid story and a bit of a twist. Insidious for example. I personally wouldn't waste time and money on the film. Wait until it comes on TV in a couple of years. Definitely not a must watch movie.
Good and creepy. However; easily forgettable, incomplete and has a disappointing ending.7/10
So, The Quiet Ones. I gave this film an 8 out of 10. I would however give it a rating of 7.8 if I could.

The Positives: The Quiet Ones is very successful in building up tension. It builds it up and then a jump scene comes at you and throws you out of your seat!

It is also a great concept. As the story progresses you begin to see more to the story than what we first thought.

Also TQO manages to go into different stories based on real legends (e.g. The theories they come up with and the covens they slightly touch upon.)

It is also quite creepy and intense with many scenes that make you say to yourself: WTF?!

The Negatives: TQO does not go deep enough into the story. They could have made the run time longer resulting in the movie being a lot more frightening. At the end of the movie, clearly not destined for a sequel we are left with many un-answered questions.

It is easily forgettable! After watching the film I simply left the screening. I did not take a minute to think about what I watched, literally the second I left the cinema I forgot about it.

The ending is also very disappointing. After all the build up I bet you were expecting a dramatic, jaw dropping climax?.... Well this movie does not offer that. Up until the end all the other negatives could have easily been forgiven. All it would have needed was a better ending.

And finally I'm going to tell you the problem with this film that occurs all of the time. 'Based on a true story'. If you are a director reading this STOP ADDING THOSE 5 WORDS! It makes the film feel scarier obviously but it also makes the director have to keep it realistic and that is usually a big downfall!

So 7.8 is what I give this film. It is creepy, jumpy and an interesting mix of found footage genre cinematography and regular cinematography. However; TQO simply isn't very believable and it is not good enough to get out of the 7 rating.
Loud Quiet Loud.7/10
After having had my nerves shredded by the revived 'Hammer Horror' 2012 film The Woman In Black, (Which was also my first ever Hammer Horror)I was thrilled to discover that Hammer's newest title has just reached UK cinemas,which led to me getting ready to discover how quiet Hammer Horror could be.

The plot:

England-1974:

Searching round for an assessment,a student film maker called Brian McNeil accepts an offer from university professor Coupland to film evidence of a study that he and his fellow students are doing.Coupland's study involves him and his students curing a psychologically broken women called Jane Harper,by helping Jane to create a 'demon'.due to Harper having somehow got the belief that she is possessed by a demonic ghost.

With having no other offers coming towards him,Brian decides that he will take a shot at Coupland's experiment.Finding himself based in a closed off country house, (chosen so that the experiment can take place in silent) McNeil is shocked to discover,that despite having clear signs of serious 'issues' that Jane Harper picks up on everything that Coupland and his students say,with Jane knowing Brian's name before he has the chance to tell her.Caught off-guard by Harper quick-witted intelligence,McNeil finds himself becoming strangely attracted to Jane,as he continues to film the amazing progress that Harper and professor Coupland's team are making it curing Harper.

Deciding to jump in their progress on Jane,the group begin pushing Jane to create a demonic ghost out of the pain that is contained within her head,which leads to Brian filming the terrifying realisation that Coupland and his team meet,which is that some nightmares are better let kept in peoples heads.

View on the film:

Whilst the title itself contains the word 'Quiet' co-writer/ (along with Craig Rosenberg,Tom De Ville and Oren Moverman) director John Pogue decides to leave any silences behind with a rumbling soundtrack.Despite stopping some of the more subtler chills covering the screen,rattles the bird cages to breaking point which led to me last night having to keep my bedroom light on,thanks to Pogue making everyone of Harper's screams screech across the screen.

Placing the film in 1974, (a time when Hammer was in its last Psycho- Thriller Horror era) Pogue smartly uses Brian's film making as a path to give the title to different,stylish appearance,with the sharp tooth clearness in the discussions between Coupland and the students being counted by Brian's rough'n' ready filming,which helps to give the chilling Horror taking on screen a raw,intensely gritty atmosphere.

For the screenplay of the film (which is very loosely based on some real life tests,which led to not a single 1 of the participants being either cursed or killed),the writers delicately allow for the screws of the movie to gradually turn,as Coupland and his students change from being easy-going to being horrified at what they cause Jane Harper to reveal.Sadly,whilst the screenplay does very well at creating an icy mood,the 2 twists in the title don't fully hit in the way that they appear to have been planned,due to their having been far too stronger signals to their arrival (with 1 of the twist being something that I correctly guessed about 30 minutes into the title.)

Showing the shadow of Peter Cushing to still be cast upon Hammer Horror,Jared Harris gives a delightfully crusty performance as professor Coupland,with Harris displaying a real determination to cure Harper,despite all of the clear deadly Horror's that he's beginning to face.Placed in the shoes of the audience,Sam Claflin smartly avoids Brian McNeil becoming annoyingly naive,by showing a warm,natural desire to protect Jane from the tests that Coupland and his students are forcing her to take part in.

Chilling the screen up from the moment she shivers across the screen,the beautiful Olivia Cooke delivers a fantastic,nerve crushing performance with Jane Harper,thanks to Cooke attacking the movies shots of terror with a devilish playfulness which really allows the character to get under the skin,as Harper begins to reveal to Coupland and his team the far from quiet Horrors of this Hammer Horror.
Brits have at the staples of 21st century American horror6/10
"The Quiet Ones" focuses on a three students at the University of Oxford who join a research group led by Dr. Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris). The group is working to document parapsychological phenomenon in a young woman whom they believe has created and manifests a presence which she calls Evie. Isolated in the back country outside of Oxford, the group begins to unravel and secrets come to light.

I first off have to say that the primary reason I saw this film was because the poster was breathtaking— Gothic, beautiful, and unconventional. I wasn't even that impressed with the trailer, but the poster had some promise for me. Now, after seeing the film, I have mixed feelings.

It starts off well enough, and maintains a sense of ambiguity in its early stages, keeping the audience at arm's length; this is wonderful during the first act, but the problem is that it never seems to break free of this, even as the plot unravels and the truth comes out in the end— there is little surprise in the film because it never lets its audience in close enough to be affected by it. Clunky pacing and editing is largely the culprit here, which seems to prevent the film from ever really gaining steam. Instead, we are presented with a series of repetitious happenings that fail to build on one another, and the film edges on becoming an unmemorable blur as a consequence. The script feasts heavily on the staples of 21st century American horror films to its own detriment— we have possessed girls in white dresses, Satanic symbols, demons, religious cults, blah, blah, blah. You know the story.

That said, the film does have some strengths. The script is purportedly based on an actual experiment done in Toronto in the 1970s, so the film does have that working in its favor, no matter how ludicrous it is to take the events depicted at face value— the fact that there is at least a shred of truth to this is compelling in a world where every horror film released makes false claims of being based on reality. It is also remarkably well photographed; the interplay between the standard camera and the 8mm footage being filmed by the characters lends the picture a unique mood and sense of voyeurism, and the depictions of the experiments at times recall John Hough's British classic, "The Legend of Hell House." The performances in the film are also solid, with Jared Harris reeling everything in.

I think the overall problem I had with this film was, despite the fact that it roots itself in history as a period piece, the majority of it is just frankly underwhelming because it too often takes the route of 90% of the horror films we see released here in America every month. The premise is intriguing, but the execution leaves us with a relatively well-made film whose main problem is that is just isn't that darned compelling. 6/10.