A university professor and a team of students conduct an experiment on a young woman, uncovering terrifyingly dark, unexpected forces in the process.
Genre : Horror
Country : USA/UK
Jared Harris : Joseph Coupland
Sam Claflin : Brian
Olivia Cooke : Jane Harper
“Cure one and you cure the world”
The name “Hammer Films” evokes memories of baroque horror movies from the 60s and 70s which had some influence on subsequent horrors. For a while they disappeared out of the spotlight and then reappear in 2012 with “The Woman in Black” with Daniel Radcliffe. This old-fashioned looking ghost story was a hit which brought a significant sum of $ 127 million worldwide. “The Quiet Ones” will not achieve the same goal, but despite the worn and outdated banal topic it´s reasonably successful in a number of areas.
Professor Coupland (Jared Harris) is trying to prove in an unorthodox way that a possession or a form of telekinesis is caused by negative energy. He has to continue the experiments he performed before on the girl Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke) on an independent basis, as the university cuts the fundings due to the controversial nature of these experiments. He withdraws into a dilapidated mansion along with hardcore supporters of his theory Krissi (Erin Richards), Harry (Rory Fleck-Byrne) and the timid young guy Brian (Sam Claflin) whose passion is handling a camera and is therefore incorporated as a cameraman to film the experiment.
The first thing that worried me was the fact that the principle of “found footage” was used. But in fact, one can say that it is rather just “footage” material. Direct images that are recorded during the experiment and mixed with ordinary film material. Another approach to the term “footage”. Basically, the biggest advantage about this, is that there are no lengthy scenes with vacuous, waving images. Wouldn’t I have a strong stomach, this might cause some problems after devouring a decent spaghetti Bolognaise. The whole film reflects the 70s. Slade and T-Rex blasting out of the sound system, the sophisticated equipment they use to do measurements looks dated, the clothes, the decor of the house, the camera that Brian uses and the fact that Coupland is smoking a cigarette every time he comes in the picture.
What about the horror content? Despite the fact that this film is given the title “The Quiet Ones“, it is advised to keep the sound level low. The possibility of a hearing damage is considerable as the shock effect in this film is for the most part based on momentary loud bang effects. I startled, even with the simple hand clap they used as a famous clapper-board that Brian clearly did not possess. The moment they move into the old house, it gets more and more a “The Conjuring” atmosphere. Yet it remains all a bit superficial and it is limited to some throbbing sounds, squeaky opening doors, suddenly not working lights and performing séances using strobe lights. Even the revelation at a given time and the terrifying quest in the attic in the end, can not prevent it to be a superficial ghost story in general.
Jared Harris plays in a convincing and successful way the eccentric professor who’s unquestionably convinced of his theory and despite all the evidence continues to believe in it obstinately. The additional alleged amorous relationships he had, were in my eyes unnecessary and irrelevant. Sam Claflin, also known from “The Hunger Games” played the timid outsider who soon realizes that Jane’s treatment is unacceptable and even starts to get feelings for Jane. A creditable role. It´s Olivia Cooke who delivers a magnificent performance. A tormented girl that first looks innocent and vulnerable, and then transforms into a scary strong and sneaky person. Beautifully acted.
Still, again I had some reservations about certain things. Like the warning Brian got about the patient. He should not look her in the eyes or converse with her, so he would not interfere with the experiment. He forgot that advice from the start, I guess. And they had a whole cartload of sophisticated equipment, but a dead simple flashlight they didn’t have of course.
But despite that, it wasn’t an unpleasant film, with an average story and a whole load of clichés. If you watch this film with the volume high enough, then you are assured of some momentary cardiac disorders. But if you’re a seasoned horror buff, this is nothing new, and you can “quietly” let this one pass by. And the mandatory message “Inspired by true events” is not very original and has no effect on me. I start to snigger spontaneously after reading this …