Movie Review: The Quiet Ones

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Stars: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, sexual content, thematic material, language, and smoking throughout, Running time 90 minutes, Horror/Thriller

Compare to: The Woman in Black (2012), Devil’s Due (2014)

I had an intro but I erased it in favor of getting down to the point. If you really want to see this movie, go for it. If you were on the fence about it, don’t waste your time.

The Quiet Ones is another example of a film that has some uniqueness about it and at times draws you in to make you think it’s a better movie than it is…only to abandon you right when you think it feels like it’s going somewhere. What does that make it to you?

University Professor Joseph Couplin and a small group of students decide to perform an series of isolated experiments on Jane Harper in an effort to rid her of her mental illness…or so Professor Couplin thinks. Once the group settles in, Jane’s mental illness appears to be something that science can’t explain and the the researchers can’t escape.

Whatever is going on here is never good.

Whatever is going on here is never good.

When it comes to the eerie and the supernatural, it’s usually a bit refreshing to come across a set of protagonists that seek a rational explanation for the ongoing creepy occurrences. And not just disbelieve but set out to disprove the phenomena. This way, we’re set up for characters who actively put themselves into the situations they get into, a la Oculus.

Though this does create the problem of featuring characters we care about. It’s a little tough to feel sympathetic toward a character that refuses to remove themselves from a freaky situation no matter how unsettling it may be. Then we’re walking the line between non-believing and just plain dumb.

Though Jared Harris, who seems to be best known for playing the villainous Moriarty in 2011’s Sherlock Holmes sequel, does play himself a convincing professor whose intentions range between the best and worst a human can offer their colleagues. His willingness to study Jane Harper begins innocently enough but at times seems obsessive- though he retains his humanity so as not to stir up some caricature of a professor gone mad.

"S#^*'s about to get real."

“S#^*’s about to get real.”

It’s also understood that not everything they do to keep you interested will be a genuine scare to toss you into the climax of the movie. Suspense for true cinematic terror needs to be built but since we’re on the subject, just because it’s early on in the film, why can’t we have a Horror film with genuine scares that consist of more than just an ANNOYINGLY loud noise to keep us tense?

Then again, Jared Harris' relationship with anybody could make you uncomfortable.

Then again, Jared Harris’ relationship with anybody could make you tense.

Though the liberal use of the handheld camera is done well here as we go back and forth between the film we’re watching and the film the characters are watching through a grainy, saturated lens that makes you feel creeped out even when nothing is going on. Those old cameras just have a strange feel to them.

Unfortunately, The Quiet Ones is too slow to be as good as it could have been and it attempts to wrap up an hour and a half in the last few minutes and with an ending that leaves you feeling…should I say…speechless? No, I won’t use a lame pun like that it and it doesn’t even fit. You’ll probably shake your head though.

Positives: Some good performances especially by Harris and Cooke, a couple of sincerely disturbing scenes may make this memorable for some viewers.

Negatives: Multiple cheap scares, too often is too slow, The plot points feel too scattered to be coherent.

Grade: C-

Side note: Check out this awesome poster. Going up on muh Tumblr page!

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