FilmReview

Review: “The Quiet Ones” Brings Small Scares But Not Much Else

Emily Theytaz ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Olivia Cooke and Sam Claflin in The Quiet Ones. Photo Credit: Chris Harris/Lionsgate.
Olivia Cooke and Sam Claflin in The Quiet Ones. Photo Credit: Chris Harris/Lionsgate.

The Quiet Ones, directed by John Pogue, tells the story of an Oxford professor (Jared Harris) in the 1970s and three students, Brian (Sam Claflin), Krissi (Erin Richards), and Harry (Rory Fleck-Byrne). They conduct an experiment on Jane (Olivia Cooke), a young woman suffering from supposed supernatural occurrences, to prove it’s all in her mind.

The group brings Jane to a house in the middle of nowhere due to their budget being cut. They give her a doll that the professor believes will allow them contact with the “thing she has created in her mind, that is definitely not a demon, no absolutely not”—a young girl named Evie who died in a fire. This kicks off the endless cliché horror movie moments and bleak plot points that seem to drag on for longer than 98 minutes.

The scares are comprised of loud, startling noises rather than quality fear-inducing elements. However, there are some fleeting moments, such as a short scene in which the angry professor kicks over cricket equipment on the Oxford lawn, that are fairly entertaining. The movie also happens to be beautifully shot, proving that horror films are capable of having cinematic value. The opening credits were a high point, introducing clever use of art and textbook diagrams of demons that precede the always-haunting “inspired by true events.” The horror elements  are too generic, from a little boy with sunken eyes (who appears in the digitally produced black-and-white eight-millimeter film), to the ever-gimmicky opening, closing, and locking of doors on their own.

Olivia Cooke and Jared Harris in The Quiet Ones. Photo Credit: Chris Harris/Lionsgate.
Olivia Cooke and Jared Harris in The Quiet Ones. Photo Credit: Chris Harris/Lionsgate.

The plot itself is not nearly as terrifying as the standard of most horror films. The Quiet Ones doesn’t come close to the fear induced by Insidious or Oculus. Normally it’s fun when a seemingly good guy turns out to be an antagonist and vice versa, but in this film it serves as more of an annoyance. We are given hints here and there that the professor isn’t interested in curing the mind of a troubled woman, and that he’s actually just a mad scientist, but this fails to manifest into anything of substance. The title also barely applies to the film; the phrase is only referred to once in the movie as an off-handed comment about how the titular character, Brian, is known to be quiet in class.

Overall, the movie offers more unintentional laughs than heart-stopping terror and struggles to fit the mold of a typical horror film. Check it out if you enjoy cheesy entertainment, because the only scares you’ll find here will be from abrupt moments of terribly loud audio.

Overall Grade: C

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