What a disappointment!
I knew vertually nothing about this film, I didn’t even watch a trailer all I knew was that it was from Hammer studios. I had seen people talking about it online but I avoided all possible spoilers by ignoring reviews etc.
Directed by John Pogue who is responsible for Ghost Ship, and starring Jared Harris, Olivia Cooke,Sam Clafin, Erin Richards and Rory Fleck-Byrne.
The Quiet Ones is the supposedly true story of a disturbed girl who becomes the subject of an unorthodox experiement involving kenetic energy. The film is loosely based on the Philip experiment, a 1972 parapsychology experiment conducted in Toronto. “In the 1970’s, a group of Canadian parapsychologists wanted to attempt an experiment to create a ghost, proving their theory that the human mind can produce spirits through expectation, imagination and visualization.” Which you can read about here.
The film starts as student and cameraman Brian (played by Sam Clafin) meets Professor Joseph Coupland the man behind ‘The Experiment’. The professor wants to debunk the idea of possession and instead find a scientific explanation and cure for a disturbed girl called Jane Harper. Brian seems a bit shy and reserved but is keen to be involved and the more he learns about Jane the more intrigued he becomes and the more he comes out of his shell.
The professor also has two other assisstants working with him, Harry and Krisi, both students of his and the four of them come together to try to help Jane. Jane is the young girl they hope to save. Passed from foster home to foster home Jane eventually ended up in the professors care. Jane is kept locked in a room with loud music played to stop her from sleeping in the hopes it will trigger the strange activity her foster parents couldn’t explain.
Brian is clearly uncomfortable with the set up but goes along with it anyway. Jane talks about a little girl called Evey who only she can see, is it a ghost? split personality? mental illness?
After thier funding is dropped they relocate The Experiment to a large house in the country, where they can be undisturbed. As the days go on the group try to push Jane to her limits in the hopes of seeing a manifestation of her negative energy i.e Evey. The professor is willing to go to extreme lengths to get the desired reaction from Jane and Brian finds it increasingly hard to justify what they are doing to this girl he’s started developing feelings for. He wants to help Jane and doesn’t know how.
Throw in some demonic symbols and some obvious red herrings and that’s about it. It feels like not a lot actually happened in the film so I feel like the film should have been a lot more tense but there was no mounting dread or tension.
Olivia Cooke, who plays Jane really stood out in this film, I’ve seen her in the first season of Bates Motel and she’s a thoroughly likeable actress, she’s able to bring something much deeper to the usual depiction of ‘vulnerable’ characters.
Jared Harris puts in a typically good performance as you’d expect,to be honest I can’t really fault the acting. These are clearly capable actors.
The problems lie in the script, the somewhat convoluted plot and the film itself runs on for far too long only to end up with a thoroughly dull and unsatisfying ending.
There is a real lack of atmosphere too, where are the chills? This is Hammer horror! I’d be hard pressed to call this a horror at all, or even a psychological thriller.
If you’ve wached a modicum of horror fims you’ll not only find the jumps scares tame but also predictable.
The Quiet Ones is set in 1974 and I get the impression the filmaker wanted the film to have an authentic 70’s feel but sadly, it doesn’t. Even the vinage black and white footage the professor shows looks modern but with some flickering black spots.
So all in all a disappointment. I suggest avoiding The Quiet Ones, trust me your time is precious you could be watching something better!
If you do however want to see The Quiet Ones you can order it via Amazon