The Quiet Ones actually isn’t a completely awful film and I wouldn’t be hesitant to at least recommend a Red Box rental, but the problem is what started off with some truly dark and spooky atmosphere devolved into the supernatural crap seen numerous times before. That being said, Jared Harris at least isn’t bad and with a short running time, it’s not a chore to get through.
The Quiet Ones
Genre(s): Suspense, Thriller, Horror
Lionsgate | R – 98 min. – $24.99 | August 19, 2014
THE MOVIE – 2.75/5
On the surface, The Quiet Ones appeared to be a unique little horror film and after a promising start, the film quickly devolves and heavily relies on the tried and true supernatural movie clichés, nearly throwing away any promise including a fine cast selection and well orchestrated atmosphere and (dark) tone.
The story, which has been “Inspired by True Events” (i.e. a sliver of truth surrounded by B.S.) centers on Professor Joseph Coupland (JARED HARRIS) who is a bit of a mad scientist, obsessed with proving that paranormal experiences are in fact come from the human subconscious and not something within the supernatural realm. Along with assistants Krissi (ERIN RICHARDS) and Harry (RORY FLECK-BYRNE), Coupland enlists videographer Brian McNeil (SAM CLAFLIN) to record experiments performed on a troubled, and suicidal with unusual powers, young lady named Jane Harper (OLIVIA COOKE) who is kept under lock and key, though she is there voluntarily.
However, concerned with the project, Oxford pulls the funding and Coupland takes the others to a remote mansion to perform the experiments with limited money but all the passion to prove his theories. What follows are some creepy moments, the usual jump scares and such with beliefs on the behalf of our main character McNeil and Coupland’s own descent into madness which is really the only reason this film works at all because the story itself falls into tatters by the third act, turning from an interesting piece of British horror-thriller to the usual schlock that we’ve seen numerous times in the past.
The supporting cast of Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Erin Richards (“Merline”) and Rory Fleck-Byrne (Vampire Academy) are all good in their parts, even if the latter two are relatively thin in development. However, they at least serve more than bodies in a horror movie and provide some good character tension with Harris especially in the third act.
Even with all the negatives, and there are a few, I did like the atmosphere director John Pogue (writer of U.S. Marshals and The Skulls, writer & director of Quarantine 2, his directorial debut) presented: dark and truly creepy throughout but it’s undercutted by silly scenes and the tired jump scars. You also can’t go wrong with casting Jared Harris who immediately elevates any material and he helped keep my attention even until the end.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.25/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a Digital Copy redemption code.
Audio Commentary – Co-Writer/Director John Pogue and Producer Tobin Armbrust offer up a low key track that goes through the filmmaking process and gives background on certain shots and scenes.
Welcome to the Experiment: The Making of The Quiet Ones (34:53; HD) is an extensive behind-the-scenes footage with cast/crew interviews set against scenes from the movie going through how the Hammer films chose the project.
An Ominous Opening (8:24; HD) covers the opening title sequence and what Pogue wanted to get from it using a visual artist to put it together.
Deleted Scenes (12:16; HD) are a set of scenes that were ultimately cut down or removed and from seeing these, for good reason at they didn’t really add much.
Last are Outtakes (3:29; HD) filled with the normal line flubs.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Not overly surprising, but the 1080p, widescreen transfer doesn’t look quite right though mainly because it’s so darkly lit. Now, detail levels aren’t bad and during some of the daylight shots, colors seem well dispersed, but where the picture falters is I noticed some minor artifacts and it’s just not something that looks stunningly good in HD, although this is hardly a mark against the transfer, just the way the cinematographer and director chose to shoot the movie.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is surprisingly strong and robust, taking full advantage of the jump (and genuine) scares. There’s also some good depth being able to discern noises and other bumps and dialogue levels are crisp and clear throughout.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, The Quiet Ones actually isn’t a completely awful film and I wouldn’t be hesitant to at least recommend a Red Box rental, but the problem is what started off with some truly dark and spooky atmosphere devolved into the supernatural crap seen numerous times before. That being said, Jared Harris at least isn’t bad and with a short running time, it’s not a chore to get through. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate has some good bonus material and the audio and video transfers are both well done.