New Review: The Quiet Ones (2014)
Director: John Pogue
Cast: Jared Hess, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, Sam Claflin, Rory Fleck-Byrne
The Quiet Ones is a fascinatingly bad movie. It manages to take an impossibly stupid idea for a movie, and manages to make it seem even dumber in an interminable 98 minutes. Here is a movie that was made with no thought, no focus, and no ambition. It just sits there, lying dead on the screen, occasionally awakening the audience from its slumber with its oppressively loud sound effects (the movie may have the word "quiet" in the title, but it's anything but that).
The movie takes place in the 1970s and is, if we're meant to believe the title card in the beginning (which I don't), inspired by actual events. Jared Hess stars as Joseph Coupland, an unlikable Oxford professor who's a specialist in paranormal psychology. He believes that all supernatural occurrences (whether it be demonic possession, telekinesis, etc.) are nothing more than a manifestation of mental illness, and if he can cure one person of their "supernatural" illness, then he can cure the whole world.
The good professor is unwavering in his beliefs. His newest experiment, a mental patient named Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke, an actress who looks like a cross between Rose Byrne and Christina Ricci), believes she is possessed by a spirit named Evey, and is known to speak in a demonic voice and vomiting out supernatural plasma, but even then, he's convinced that it's all just a part of Jane's trouble mind and all the negative energy she keeps bottled up. His methods for trying to cure Jane are shockingly inhumane. He keeps her locked up in a room with newspapers taped over the windows, he plays rock music very loudly so she can't sleep, burns her arm with a candle, slaps her and, at one point, deliberately stops her heart.
Coupland has three students assisting him in his experiments. There's the hunky Harry (Rory Fleck-Byrne), his slutty girlfriend Krissi (Erin Richards), who is secretly having an affair with Coupland, and super-serious camera man Brian (Sam Claflin). When his funding for his experiment is cut, Coupland is given no choice but to relocate to a remote country house to continue his experiments on Jane. Jane makes several attempts at trying to seduce Brian ("Jane, get your hand out his trousers," Coupland tells her at one point). Krissi gets jealous because she thinks all the boys want to sleep with Jane. Harry stands around and....well, does whatever the heck he's supposed to be doing. And Brian stresses the importance of getting Jane to a doctor so she can get some real help.
Whatever. All of this is just so boring. Even as a straight up B-movie horror show, the movie is a failure. The visuals are dingy and drab. The scares consist of cheesy CGI, loud banging sounds, and Jane screaming at ear-shattering levels. The characters receive no development at all, and behave in ways that make absolutely no sense. Even the movie's PG-13 rating proves to be a hindrance. Those looking for creative gore scenes are going to have to look elsewhere. There are scenes that suggest the movie was initially going to be rated R (look at the scene where something grabs Harry by the arm), but then it cuts away before anything gruesome can be shown. I don't usually demand that a horror movie have gore, but when a movie is completely lacking in quality like The Quiet Ones, you'll beg for anything to relieve the tedium.
There really is no point to this movie. It doesn't challenge its audience, it doesn't scare them, and it offers them nothing they can relate to. It's just....there. The movie is a product of Hammer Films. Two years ago, they released The Woman in Black, and while that was also a terrible movie, it at least had some good looking visuals. The best thing that can be said about The Quiet Ones is that you won't remember a thing about it once it's over. It's only been four days since I've seen the film, and the entire thing is a blur (thank God).
Rated PG-13 for violence and (ahem) "terror," disturbing images, sexual content, profanity, and lots of lit cancer sticks!
Final Grade: ½ * (out of ****)
What did you think of this movie? :)
Other Thoughts on The Quiet Ones (2014) :D
- Killer Movie Reviews
- The Quiet Ones Movie Review | Movie Reviews and News | EW.com
'''The Quiet Ones' is a retro possession story that will wind up being best remembered for its groovy '70s setting (lots of mutton-chop sideburns and T. Rex and Slade songs on the soundtrack) and a deliciously sinister performance from Jared Harris.'
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