Tuesday 15 April 2014

Review: The Quiet Ones

Year: 2014
Director: John Progue
Screenplay: Craig Rosenberg, John Pogue, Oren Moverman, Tom de Ville
Starring: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards

Synopsis is here:

For the first time in a quite a while, I found myself watching a film at the cinema with someone else. Despite the fact I gave my companion ample time to get ready for an mid afternoon screening of The Quiet Ones, she still took forever to get to the cinema. Even though her schedule became clear for her to watch the movie. I write this for the simple fact that I found more dramatic tension in whether or not my friend could make the screening, than I did in The Quiet Ones.

The film is a rather typical horror which, like many of its fellow features, is very quick to tell you how inspired by true events it is. The Quiet Ones is also one of those films that are far more interested in its multitude of jump scares over any sort of sufficient feeling of dread. By the time the first jump came about, I knew I was going to be in for a rather tepid time.

Despite its large spooky house setting and tight close ups, The Quite Ones does very little to fill you with any lingering fear. The film swaps from old 70’s 16mm film format to more crisp modern cinematography often but does little to make such switches beneficial. The characters are frustratingly archetypical and spread far too thinly for the audience to give any worthwhile concern. Jared Harris and Olivia Cooke have a lot enthusiasm but are trapped within their roles of boring sceptic and possessed waif respectively. Harris’ Professor Coupland is more disheartening due to the plain ignorance of the character as the film goes on. The films stilted screenplay doesn’t help things, repetitively giving us bump in the night moments the character has to reject without conviction.

As a story about an English haunting, the theme of repression are bound, with Erin Richards’ tarty sex-pot pitting herself against the repressed Brunette rival in Cooke’s Jane Harper early on. Unfortunately Richards’ alluring outfits are more eye-catching than any of the dynamic that occurs throughout the film.  The British (and the film’s producers, Hammer) have a long standing tradition in providing chilling tales, but this ramshackle production would do better in staying silent.