The Quiet Ones

The Quiet ONes

Image courtesy of Hammer Films/Lionsgate Productions

The Quiet Ones
| Published May 1, 2014 |

By Lori Garrett
Thursday Review contributor

I give The Quiet Ones a 3 out of 5. Not quite as good as The Conjuring (though that may just be a preference for me, I happen to like slow suspenseful horror), but it is worlds better than Abraham Lincoln; Vampire Hunter (though if you count that as something of an absurdist-comedy-horror, it’s not so bad).

The main problem is that The Quiet Ones, ironically or not, uses sound as its main type of scare. There are a lot of sudden loud noises, eliciting a few jumps out of the audience. Call me crazy, but I feel the loud noise and the jump-scare are tools that if not used sparingly become just another cheap trick. What this movie does well is make it feel like it actually was made during the 1970’s. Everything from the costumes down to the way the film was shot screams that era. The particular angles and lenses used brought to mind The Omen and The Legend of Hell House. I like seeing a new movie coming out that has that feel to it instead of a remake of one of the greats from that period.

The Quiet Ones stars Jared Harris (Mad Men), Sam Claflin (Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Pillars of the Earth), and Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) and is loosely based on a true story—veeeerry loosely. It follows a group of people undertaking a complex paranormal experiment. They isolate a young woman who is supposedly possessed by—or at least haunted by—a nasty little spirit by the name of Evie. They are attempting to prove that spirits such as this are actually manifestations of a disturbed or highly emotional person and can be “cured” through psychological means. Actually, this is a valid theory, but I digress.

The “true story” has a group of people who attempted to create a ghost by wholly inventing a historical character and attempt to manifest him by visualizing him. There was eventually some stir and rumors that they had succeeded, but it was more or less written off as a hoax. I was not exaggerating when I said it was “loosely based on a true story.”

This is another in a string of movies produced by the revival of Hammer Films, a studio in the UK. Other recent titles include Let Me In, a British-American remake of the Swedish original Let the Right One In (and one of the better book-to-movie adaptations, if I do say so myself) and The Woman in Black. I feel this is a great direction for the people behind the scenes at Hammer. When the studio first came to prominence, they were responsible for such film as The Mummy series, and they breathed new life into Dracula (these are the Christopher Lee series, not to be confused with those starring Bela Lugosi) and the Frankenstein family. It’s great to see that they are producing again, and churning out mostly high quality horror. I hear there is a second Woman in Black in the works, and I’m pretty excited.

As for The Quiet Ones, I would definitely suggest seeing this installment. It was left open ended for the possibility of a sequel, but not so open as to build anticipation for one. Though it is a solid movie—well-written and acted, this is not what I would deem a “theater movie,” so you can easily wait for it to arrive on DVD or Blu-ray, or perhaps wait for it pop up on your instant queue. Keep a look out for it, and keep your fingers crossed that Hammer Films will keep on producing interesting horror.

Related Thursday Review articles:

The Conjuring: Festival of Fright; review by Lori Garrett; Thursday Review; July 28, 2013.