The Quiet OnesCultureCinemaMovie reviews
Is it fair that the term horror only conjures up negative connotations in modern cinema? It seems every week there is a new throw-away shocker that simply has the purpose of creating a few cheap scares in substitute for a genuinely creepy story. New director John Pogue attempts to tackle this issue in his new horror flick The Quiet Ones.
The subject of possession and the paranormal is the genre tackled in this tale as Sam Claflin and Jared Harris play two stark opposites in search of answers. The film’s intrigue lies in this contrast as it introduces the notion of science in the paranormal – Harris’ character Professor Coupland attempts to prove that all paranormal activities are conducted in the human brain through the build up of negative energy. Claflin’s character Brian, on the other hand, is more religiously persuaded as he and Professor Coupland conduct chilling experiments on the demonically possessed Jane Harper, played by Olivia Cooke.
The film is set in 70s England and this aspect is fully ramped up to 11 as Pogue drapes the screen in a grainy yellow pixelated filter, creating a fuzzy outlook that adds to the sense of uneasiness and horror throughout. The mysterious Coupland encapsulates the sense of ambiguity as his intense charm borders on the sinister and sleazy, keeping the audience intrigued.
The quintessential Englishness of the film means it does somewhat add an unintentional comedy element, and some of the dialogue borders on that of a Family Guy sketch, while the kookiness of the haunted house setting and some of the characters’ behaviour does remind one of a long episode of Scooby Doo. The horror aspect is therefore left to Cooke’s character as she adopts a persona that would even creep out Wednesday Adams, and all the usual demonic possessive behaviour we have seen before in films such as Carrie or The Last Exorcism is churned out again.
Although The Quiet Ones does not necessarily provide anything new for horror fans, it does have its own witty English charm that hopefully won’t be lost on a new audience used to ten-a-penny jump scares every few minutes.
The Quiet Ones is released nationwide on 10th April 2014.
Watch the trailer for The Quiet Ones here: