REVIEW: THE QUIET ONES / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: JOHN POGUE / SCREENPLAY: CRAIG ROSENBERG, JOHN POGUE, OREN MOVERMAN, TOM DE VILLE / STARRING: JARED HARRIS, SAM CLAFLIN, OLIVIA COOKE, ERIN RICHARDS / RELEASE DATE: TBC
The Quiet Ones is a movie that’s been highly anticipated by certain corners of the horror community. The central focus of the Hammer horror is Oxford professor Joseph Coupland (Harris) and his small group of students as they look to document parapsychological happenings within a lady by the name of Jane Harper (Cooke). The big question of the day is whether these crazed goings-on are actual parapsychological occurrences or simply something that is rooted in the mind of the troubled Jane.
Apparently based on true events, The Quiet Ones has a very strong opening and a lot of potential. As we get a closer look into the entity, dubbed Evie, that has an apparent hold over Jane, there’s good, dramatic tension and a rich, borderline-Gothic charm to Pogue’s movie. Sadly, though, the second half of The Quiet Ones doesn’t live up to the stellar groundwork laid down by the film’s early moments. What unravels before our eyes is a story that comes across as played out, clichéd and unappealing.
Whilst the film doesn’t live up to the underground buzz that it has received, there are still plenty of positives on show. Two particular positives are the performances of Harris and Cooke, a duo who seem to have a perfect handle on what their characters should be. The supporting cast are adequate and passable, but Harris and Cooke clearly outshine their cohorts here. Similarly, the film’s first half clearly outshines its latter. Despite the flaws of the second half, this British horror takes its time to craft a well-delivered first 40 minutes or so.
Unfortunately, The Quiet Ones, despite being far from awful, is hard to label as anything more than disappointing. Whether we expected more from this latest Hammer production or it’s just the case that we were let down by the film failing to maximise on the strong, promise-laced first half, The Quiet Ones paints a frustrating picture. For all its style, charm and appeal, it just feels like a massively missed opportunity to deliver a truly great British horror film that matches some of the classic tales of yesteryear.
A steady effort that threatens to do something stunning and unique, The Quiet Ones seems to lose its nerve halfway through and revert to the usual plot points and familiar happenings that we've seen far too often in horror films of the last decade. Still, some strong performances and a few choice scares will provide horror fans with enough entertainment to give The Quiet Ones a certain appeal. As we said, the film is far from a complete dud, it just comes across as a ballsy little number that decided to sit on the fence halfway through and revert back to the usual horror clichés we’ve become accustomed to over the years.
Expected Rating: 8 out of 10